“Happy Birthday to You”


I recently read a news article which states that the singing of Happy Birthday in public is prohibited unless you pay Warner/Chappell a hefty fee. They purchased the rights in the 1980’s. Although there is, currently a bid to prove that the song was in a song book predating the 1935 copyright.

The song was originally written by two sisters, Mildred and Patty Hill, and was titled ‘Good Morning to All’. Happy Birthday evolved from that score. It’s reported that Warner/Chappel, a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group receives around $2 million per annum from the royalty rights; mainly from TV and film companies who wish to use it. The copyright expires in 2030 after which it will be classed as ‘Public Domain’ and we can sing it in public without fear of litigation.

It made me think about poetry, songs and stories which we create, whilst blogging, and how much money they could be worth in the right circumstances.

Is this wishful thinking?

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