The Complicated History and Legal Battles of "Happy Birthday to You"

TLDR "Happy Birthday to You" is one of the most profitable songs ever written, with a complicated history and multiple legal battles over its copyright. Despite its simplicity, the song has faced claims regarding renewal, authorship, and evidence of original authors, resulting in significant fees for copyright infringement.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The most famous song in the world is "Happy Birthday to You," which has been sung at countless birthday parties and has been the subject of important legal cases.
01:25 The Travel Photography Academy is an online course that teaches you everything you need to know to master your camera and take better photos on your next trip.
02:42 The Happy Birthday tune started to gain popularity in the 1920s and 30s, appearing in various publications and even being used by Western Union as the first singing telegram, but Patty and Mildred were not compensated for its use.
03:58 Happy Birthday to You is one of the most profitable songs ever written, with licensing fees required for public performances and recordings, and estimated revenue of at least $2 million per year.
05:21 Happy Birthday to You has a complicated history, as there were many similar folk songs before it, but despite its simplicity, it is still copyrighted and profitable.
07:01 Happy Birthday to You has faced multiple claims against its copyright, including issues with renewal, incorrect authorship, and lack of evidence that the original authors actually wrote the song.
08:22 The judge required Warner-Chapelle to pay $15 million in fees for the copyright infringement of "Happy Birthday to You," and there have been other similar cases against copyrighted songs such as "This Land is Your Land" and "We Shall Overcome."
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