By Emily Blake – 2/9/16 – Mashable
If all goes according to plan, everyone will have the rights to “Happy Birthday to You.”
Warner/Chappell, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has long held the copyright to the song, but in September, a judge ruled that copyright invalid, saying the company did not actually have rights to the song’s lyrics. The company filed a tentative agreement Monday in California federal court to put the song in the public domain and settle a three-year-long class-action lawsuit.
Warner/Chappell’s copyright on “Happy Birthday” was expected to last until 2030 “at the least,” but in the settlement, which awaits approval from Judge George H. King, the company agreed to no longer collect fees for use of the song for the next 15 years. The company will also dole out $14 million to those who have previously paid fees to use the song. read more here
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