Sunday, August 17, 2003

Jazz-Sax.Com | Exposing the Happy Birthday Story

Jazz-Sax.Com Exposing the Happy Birthday Story Did you know that the Happy Birthday song is copyrighted? If you use it in public, you owe the copyright owners money. In this case, there are some who claim the song is in the public domain. This is the point of today's blog entry. The author contends that the melody to Happy Birthday is in fact a public domain tune from the 1880s. It is an interesting claim. (And why doesn't someone sue the copyright holders forcing their hand? Repayments of past "copyright" settlements ought to make it worth it for some lawyer. Maybe this isn't such an easy issue.) Regardless, in a day when our students think nothing of downloading tunes for free from the Web, the whole idea of copyright and music seems quaint. I am going to have a lecture on copyright with my students this fall. This link may be the catalyst I use to introduce the topic. (And happy 5th birthday to my son Calvin.)