| Filed under What a Reach!

Your mom still owes $150,000 to Time Warner for 30 years of birthdays

They're smiling because now the company doesn't have to pay every time they reluctantly drone out the words to "Happy Birthday To You."
They’re smiling because now the company doesn’t have to pay every time they reluctantly drone out the words to “Happy Birthday To You.” Also, because they do not realize that this does not translate into bonuses.

If the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Warner/Chappel Music Inc. gets their way, you may finally enjoy a royalties-free happy birthday. Good Morning To You Productions Corp. feels that they should not have needed to pay $1500 to use the song “Happy Birthday to You” in their new documentary about it. However, if they hadn’t, they could be sued by Warner/Chappel, which has owned the rights to the song since 1998.

But, through their research for the documentary, the production company found no evidence that Warner/Chappel or the previous owners, Birch Tree Ltd. and Clayton Summy, ever actually owned the song. Sure, they’ve all at one point owned a song called “Good Morning To You” since 1893. But, there’s no copyright on that song with the lyrics to “Happy Birthday To You” because the public made that s**t up.

Let’s not get too excited, though. Even if Good Morning To You Productions wins their case, we’re pretty sure that there will be a counter-suit by the people who wrote the “When I Say ‘Happy,’ You Say ‘Birthday'” song to keep their own royalties pouring in from Applebees.

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