‘Happy Birthday to you!’ People can now sing
the traditional Happy Birthday song in public without the fear they will have to pay royalties.
Yep- panic over! A judge in the U.S has ruled that Warner/Chappell Music Inc. no longer
owns the copyright. The music publisher has previously collected royalties on the iconic
song after buying the firm that owned the copy right in 1988. The tune was originally
composed by sisters, Mildred and Patty Hill from Kentucky in 1893. They called their version
‘Good Morning to All’, which later evolved into the song that’s now sung at birthday
parties around the world. ‘Happy Birthday, to you. Happy Birthday, to you. Happy Birthday,
dear Marshall. Happy Birthday, to you.’ Warner/Chappell had been collecting fees since 1988 when it
bought Birch Tree Group which claimed the original copyright. It is thought to have
made 1.3 million pounds a year, by charging every time the song was used in a film, TV
episode, advert or other public performance.