The song “Happy Birthday to You” is widely credited for being the most performed song in the world. But one of its latest venues may be the federal courthouse in Manhattan, where the only parties may be the litigants to a new legal battle.
The dispute stems from a lawsuit filed on Thursday by a filmmaker in New York who is seeking to have the court declare the popular ditty to be in the public domain, and to block a music company from claiming it owns the copyright to the song and charging licensing fees for its use.
The filmmaker, Jennifer Nelson, was producing a documentary movie, tentatively titled “Happy Birthday,” about the song, the lawsuit said. In one proposed scene, the song was to be performed.
Read the full story @ NewYorkTimes.com. For more on the history of, and an investigation into, the copyright status of Happy Birthday, please take the time to read Copyright and the World’s Most Popular Song by Robert Brauneis, George Washington University – Law School. Yes it’s a law journal article but it’s one I’m assuming will be referenced in this case.