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(SeattlePI)   Company making a documentary about the song 'Happy Birthday To You' sues to try to force the song into public domain, where it and anything created before World War 2 rightly belongs   (seattlepi.com) divider line 39
    More: Spiffy, Happy Birthday, World War II  
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2046 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 14 Jun 2013 at 7:13 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-14 04:12:52 AM
Had to research this a while back, and it turns out the magic date is 1923.  Even with the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of the 90s, anything published before 1923 is legitimately in the public domain.  I had no idea Warner-Chappell was trying to protect "Happy Birthday To You" based on a 1935 piano arrangement. The melody was known decades earlier.
 
2013-06-14 07:15:21 AM

Buzzerguy: Had to research this a while back, and it turns out the magic date is 1923.  Even with the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of the 90s, anything published before 1923 is legitimately in the public domain.  I had no idea Warner-Chappell was trying to protect "Happy Birthday To You" based on a 1935 piano arrangement. The melody was known decades earlier.


Yep--the copyright equivalent of a patent troll.
 
2013-06-14 07:24:26 AM
I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.
 
2013-06-14 07:27:26 AM

czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.


Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.
 
2013-06-14 07:29:04 AM
What day is today?
It's Nibbler's birthday
.
What a day for a birthday!
Let's all have some cake.


images2.wikia.nocookie.net
and I smell like one too.
 
2013-06-14 07:31:07 AM

Shadowknight: czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.

Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.


I hate to even think about what the kitchen puts into the desserts they bring out for those tables as passive-aggressive revenge: "Hey Kevin, we've got to do the stupid Born-on-day song for table 6. Can you do me one of your "special" frosted cheesecakes?".
 
2013-06-14 07:34:32 AM

czetie: I hate to even think about what the kitchen puts into the desserts they bring out for those tables as passive-aggressive revenge: "Hey Kevin, we've got to do the stupid Born-on-day song for table 6. Can you do me one of your "special" frosted cheesecakes?".


Oh, gods, I never thought of that.  Now I REALLY don't want to go near one of those things.
 
2013-06-14 07:41:15 AM

Shadowknight: czetie: I hate to even think about what the kitchen puts into the desserts they bring out for those tables as passive-aggressive revenge: "Hey Kevin, we've got to do the stupid Born-on-day song for table 6. Can you do me one of your "special" frosted cheesecakes?".

Oh, gods, I never thought of that.  Now I REALLY don't want to go near one of those things.


Just imagine if the frosting is "chocolate"...
 
2013-06-14 07:55:16 AM

FirstNationalBastard: Just imagine if the frosting is "chocolate"...


Let's not.
 
2013-06-14 08:12:32 AM
Music.Big Business.
It's a jungle out there.

A mighty jungle.

Where the lion sleeps tonight.
 
2013-06-14 08:16:02 AM

vudukungfu: Music.Big Business.
It's a jungle out there.

A mighty jungle.

Where the lion sleeps tonight.


You now owe the RIAA $1 brazillion dollars, plus a 99 cent download fee.
 
2013-06-14 08:21:58 AM

FirstNationalBastard: You now owe the RIAA $1 brazillion dollars, plus a 99 cent download fee.


Relax, I sent the original author's family in Africa a crate of fresh water, and and ipad.
I'm good.
 
2013-06-14 08:30:05 AM

Shadowknight: czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.

Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.


There used to be a chain of restaurants called Farrells, and whenever it was your birthday they would give
you a free sundae.

But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so  not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen.

It was so bad that my mother used to threaten to take us to Farrells and tell them it was our birthday if we
were misbehaving.
 
2013-06-14 08:44:50 AM
These Warner assholes HAVE to be the ultimate copyright trolls.
 
2013-06-14 08:49:31 AM

DjangoStonereaver: Shadowknight: czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.

Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.

There used to be a chain of restaurants called Farrells, and whenever it was your birthday they would give
you a free sundae.

But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so  not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen.

It was so bad that my mother used to threaten to take us to Farrells and tell them it was our birthday if we
were misbehaving.


It's a much smaller chain now, but still around.  I was in one in either Fontana or Rancho Cucamonga recently and, while I didn't see the birthday embarrassment, the staff was as obnoxious as you say.
 
2013-06-14 08:50:51 AM

vudukungfu: FirstNationalBastard: You now owe the RIAA $1 brazillion dollars, plus a 99 cent download fee.

Relax, I sent the original author's family Gallo Recordsin Africa a crate of fresh water, and and ipad.
I'm good.


The original author's family gets $3,000 a year (or something like that) - the rest goes to the record company that actually owns the song (no, it's not "traditional").
 
2013-06-14 08:55:17 AM

DjangoStonereaver: But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen


My family has a pact that if we go out to a restaurant on our birthday we either don't tell the staff it's a birthday or insist there be no "celebration".

We've had great success stifling any embarassments before they happen.
 
2013-06-14 10:03:26 AM
Subby - expect a knock on your door from the Disney Surveillance Authority.
 
2013-06-14 10:05:04 AM
southparkstudios.mtvnimages.com

Too obscure?
 
2013-06-14 10:33:03 AM

AliceBToklasLives: vudukungfu: FirstNationalBastard: You now owe the RIAA $1 brazillion dollars, plus a 99 cent download fee.

Relax, I sent the original author's family Gallo Recordsin Africa a crate of fresh water, and and ipad.
I'm good.

The original author's family gets $3,000 a year (or something like that) - the rest goes to the record company that actually owns the song (no, it's not "traditional").


Which is one of the major failures of the copyright/patent system: they can be held by people who had nothing to do with the creation of the work.
 
2013-06-14 10:54:15 AM

Tyrone Slothrop: Which is one of the major failures of the copyright/patent system: they can be held by people who had nothing to do with the creation of the work.


I don't see that as a failure. I see that as a way of safeguarding people. I mean if a copyright or patent died with the creator, it would mean that if you wanted to steal someone's creation all you would have to do is have them killed.
 
2013-06-14 11:01:03 AM

czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.


do restaurants still do that?  I cant imagine something more aggravating that having your dinner interrupted for little tommy's ninth birthday at applebee's or working for a company that thinks that random strangers don't mind that annoyance.

/cranky
 
2013-06-14 11:06:23 AM

Silly_Sot: [southparkstudios.mtvnimages.com image 200x160]

Too obscure?


an obscure south park reference?  I assume you are just being silly.  because of your stinky britches
 
2013-06-14 11:08:35 AM

AliceBToklasLives: The original author's family gets $3,000 a year (or something like that) - the rest goes to the record company that actually owns the song (no, it's not "traditional").


Sting makes $2k per DAY on Every Breath You Take...at least that was reported 10 yrs ago.  Not sure if it's still that, but it's probably still pretty good....or it may be better, the tune gets a lotta airplay.  And that's just one song....!
 
2013-06-14 11:12:05 AM

FirstNationalBastard: vudukungfu: Music.Big Business.
It's a jungle out there.

A mighty jungle.

Where the lion sleeps tonight.

You now owe the RIAA $1 brazillion dollars, plus a 99 cent download fee.


QI talked about this song in an episode. The original writer got £1 for the song. Had he kept the copyright he would have got royalties, from the Broadway run alone of Lion King, $5 million,
 
2013-06-14 11:21:37 AM

BizarreMan: DjangoStonereaver: But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen

My family has a pact that if we go out to a restaurant on our birthday we either don't tell the staff it's a birthday or insist there be no "celebration".

We've had great success stifling any embarassments before they happen.


a group of people that tries to stifle embarrassments?


you call that a family?
 
2013-06-14 12:30:46 PM
Music publishers make spurious claims of copyright all the time.  We just don't notice these days because we are all mad at the RIAA. Hal Leonard Corp. recently flagged my youtube video of my friends and relatives singing "Silent Night" (written hundreds of years ago & solidly in the public domain) claiming that they owned it.  I objected & they dropped the claim, but that's the sort of thing we are all up against.   And don't forget all the spurious copyright notices that you see on scores for public domain classical music.

I was very happy with the Jib Jab lawsuit over "This Land Is Your Land."

Someday, someone's going to go after The Mouse.  I understand it is questionable whether the copyrights for the early Mickey Mouse films were ever even properly filed, or renewed.
 
2013-06-14 12:36:28 PM

Gough: DjangoStonereaver: Shadowknight: czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.

Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.

There used to be a chain of restaurants called Farrells, and whenever it was your birthday they would give
you a free sundae.

But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so  not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen.

It was so bad that my mother used to threaten to take us to Farrells and tell them it was our birthday if we
were misbehaving.

It's a much smaller chain now, but still around.  I was in one in either Fontana or Rancho Cucamonga recently and, while I didn't see the birthday embarrassment, the staff was as obnoxious as you say.


There's one in Riverside, too.  I was in one last weekend with a couple friends (one brought his ten year old son), and, um, yeah.  The place is literally a circus.  The food was decent, though.
 
2013-06-14 12:36:51 PM

Buzzerguy: Even with the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of the 90s, anything published before 1923 is legitimately in the public domain.


I've often heard the joke about US copyright being extended every time Mickey Mouse comes up for expiration.  But during a recent trip to Disney, I noticed that the amount of content at the park related to the original cast of characters was surprisingly small.  The characters from Pixar appeared to play a much more prominent role.

I personally don't have a problem with indefinite copyright.  But I think it should come with two conditions - a renewal term of 20 years and a renewal fee that starts low but increases over time.  If the item you copyrighted is still turning a healthy profit, then the renewal fee is worth it.  If the item has stagnated, then the copyright holder can let it slide into the public domain.

I say this because I think Disney would do quite well if the copyright on Mickey was allowed to lapse.  OTOH, Disney has the money to keep Mickey locked up if tradition means that much to them, even if the renewal fee was several million dollars.  Either way, the public wins.  Renewal fees on copyright could bring the government billions.
 
2013-06-14 01:08:19 PM

Dinjiin: Buzzerguy: Even with the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of the 90s, anything published before 1923 is legitimately in the public domain.

I've often heard the joke about US copyright being extended every time Mickey Mouse comes up for expiration.  But during a recent trip to Disney, I noticed that the amount of content at the park related to the original cast of characters was surprisingly small.  The characters from Pixar appeared to play a much more prominent role.

I personally don't have a problem with indefinite copyright.  But I think it should come with two conditions - a renewal term of 20 years and a renewal fee that starts low but increases over time.  If the item you copyrighted is still turning a healthy profit, then the renewal fee is worth it.  If the item has stagnated, then the copyright holder can let it slide into the public domain.

I say this because I think Disney would do quite well if the copyright on Mickey was allowed to lapse.  OTOH, Disney has the money to keep Mickey locked up if tradition means that much to them, even if the renewal fee was several million dollars.  Either way, the public wins.  Renewal fees on copyright could bring the government billions.


I see Mickey all over the parks when I go. And I can understand Disney's want to keep Mickey under copyright because he is their mascot and represents Disney. So to have him go into the Public Domain and become anyone's game is bad for their image. Also, Mickey does a lot of TV stuff. My nephew loves watching the new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV.
 
2013-06-14 01:12:56 PM
♪ ♫ I come from a land down under.....♪
♫ ...You Better run, you better take cover..♪ ♫
blog.gilly.ws

♪ ♫ toot too toot tot tot♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ toot too toot tot tot♪ ♫
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

Music Licence Troll LTD: 'Whooooah! G'day mate, that'll be a few million per ♫ toot toot ♪ and all future royalties, mate.'
 
2013-06-14 01:35:33 PM
Good luck with that, thanks to this woman:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-06-14 01:42:14 PM

mechgreg: Tyrone Slothrop: Which is one of the major failures of the copyright/patent system: they can be held by people who had nothing to do with the creation of the work.

I don't see that as a failure. I see that as a way of safeguarding people. I mean if a copyright or patent died with the creator, it would mean that if you wanted to steal someone's creation all you would have to do is have them killed.


Right, just like how people are not allowed to have life insurance because their beneficiaries would simply kill them to collect on the policy.  And it would happen constantly too because laws would do nothting to protect you.
 
2013-06-14 01:54:13 PM
There is no reason why intellectual property assets such as copyrights, patents and trademarks shouldn't be assignable from one owner to another in the same way that tangible assets are. The issue here is the somewhat tenuous claim that the copyright exists in the later arrangement of the tune rather than the 19th century original.
 
2013-06-14 02:05:40 PM
have the Rolling Stones killed.
 
2013-06-14 02:25:00 PM

DjangoStonereaver: Shadowknight: czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.

Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.

There used to be a chain of restaurants called Farrells, and whenever it was your birthday they would give
you a free sundae.

But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so  not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen.

It was so bad that my mother used to threaten to take us to Farrells and tell them it was our birthday if we
were misbehaving.


Single scooper, single scooper, this man is a party pooper.
 
2013-06-14 02:39:41 PM

yves0010: I see Mickey all over the parks when I go. And I can understand Disney's want to keep Mickey under copyright because he is their mascot and represents Disney. So to have him go into the Public Domain and become anyone's game is bad for their image. Also, Mickey does a lot of TV stuff. My nephew loves watching the new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV.


They have trademark for this.
 
2013-06-14 03:18:30 PM

DjangoStonereaver: Shadowknight: czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.

Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.

There used to be a chain of restaurants called Farrells, and whenever it was your birthday they would give
you a free sundae.

But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so  not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen.

It was so bad that my mother used to threaten to take us to Farrells and tell them it was our birthday if we
were misbehaving.


Couldn't have been as bad as this place

www.foodnrecipe.com
 
2013-06-14 07:32:29 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: DjangoStonereaver: Shadowknight: czetie: I'm in favor of this if only it means that the waitrons at chain restaurants will stop singing their own royalty-free corporate "Happy Clappy Jolly Born-on-day" song to customers.

Can we just stop that all together?  Even non-chain restaurants have their own now.  All I can think the entire time I am seeing it is that not one employee there is having a good time, and if they did manage to plaster a fake smile on their face it looks like they'd be just as happy to kill each and every person at that table after their shift.

There used to be a chain of restaurants called Farrells, and whenever it was your birthday they would give
you a free sundae.

But, when it got brought out to your table, the entire waitstaff would accompany your server, and someone
would bang on a big bass drum and they'd blow horns and generally embarass the hell out of you, making
the free sundae so  not worth it, especially if you were an gawky awkward pre-teen.

It was so bad that my mother used to threaten to take us to Farrells and tell them it was our birthday if we
were misbehaving.

Single scooper, single scooper, this man is a party pooper.


You can't do it! You can't do it! You can't eat a whale!
 
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