Happy Birthday was Stolen From Us
According to Boingboing.net a film production company “Good Morning To You Productions Corp” is suing Warner/Chappell Music for charging copyright on the most sung song in the world – “Happy Birthday to You”. Based on work by Robert Brauneis showing that the song has most probably been in the public domain for decades and that the fees have been improperly collected, the action is going to be one of the most interesting cases in recent history.
Typical of the tactics used by the copyright industry, Warner/Chappell demanded a fee of $1,500 from the company with the threat of a penalty of $150,000 for non-compliance. Up to now victims of these strong arm tactics have acquiesced and paid up rather than trying to fight the claim in court with the possibility of ruinous court costs.
It is to be hoped that this action will cause politicians and citizens alike to take another look at the way the IP industry is using out of date and over complicated laws to steal from the people what is rightfully theirs as a common good.
For any of you who have never heard it – which means you are probably a lizard person – here is the cat version (all memes shamlessly expoited).
Featured image: BY-NC-SA DJOtaku