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Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?

DigiTrad:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU


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k.kasirer@nfb-onf.ca 18 Feb 97 - 03:16 PM
Bobby O'Brien 18 Feb 97 - 04:27 PM
Bill 19 Feb 97 - 01:47 AM
TomG 21 Feb 97 - 05:55 PM
dick greenhaus 21 Feb 97 - 09:07 PM
Bill 22 Feb 97 - 05:17 AM
20 Mar 98 - 05:11 PM
Theo 21 Mar 98 - 02:00 AM
steve t 22 Mar 98 - 12:42 AM
RS 22 Mar 98 - 08:16 PM
23 Mar 98 - 01:26 PM
Jerry Friedman 23 Mar 98 - 06:01 PM
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Subject: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: k.kasirer@nfb-onf.ca
Date: 18 Feb 97 - 03:16 PM

When does the copyright for the traditional Happy Birthday To You song run out? I understand that it might be this year. Can anyone tell me how to quickly and accurately get this information?

k.kasirer@nfb-onf.ca


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: Bobby O'Brien
Date: 18 Feb 97 - 04:27 PM

US copyight laws are investigated by the Library of Congress research department in W.D.C. however, each request takes between 12-20 months to get a response on. Believe me, i am VERY farmiliar with this process, and it sucks hehe


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: Bill
Date: 19 Feb 97 - 01:47 AM

Howdy k,

A site that gives a lot of information about public domain music (and has been known to address Happy Birthday since they have a copy from earlier than the generally accepted copyright date) is http://www.bright.net/~pdinfo/ and it may give you the information you're after.

Allinkausay, Bill


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: TomG
Date: 21 Feb 97 - 05:55 PM

"Happy Birthday" is already in the public domain. Use and enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Feb 97 - 09:07 PM

Tom- To the best of my knowledge, HB is NOT in the Public Domain. Copyrights, nowadays, run for 75 years after the death of the creator.


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: Bill
Date: 22 Feb 97 - 05:17 AM

Howdy All,

The reason I suggested using pdinfo is that they actually keep documented copies of songs that show that they are in the public domain. As I said, they have discussed Happy Birthday, and information about it is available there.

Allinkausay, Bill


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From:
Date: 20 Mar 98 - 05:11 PM

I heard that the Copyright date in Happy Birthday is 1936. I have not confirmed it independently. Some say that the 1936 copyright is an arrangement copyright, and the melody ought by rights to be considered public domain. But it's cheaper to buy a license than to litigate. So everyone (as far as I know) is going with the 1936 date. All 1936 copyrights will expire on January 1, 2012 under current law. But bills now in Congress will extend all copyrights by 20 years. If they pass, 1936 copyrights will not expire until January 1st, 2032.


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: Theo
Date: 21 Mar 98 - 02:00 AM

Are you kidding? A copyright on Happy Birthday? The song that we all sing at everyone's birthday party? Even if it copyrighted, how is it enforced? And what is enforced? At the end of the movie in True Lies, they sang Happy Birthday to Arnold Schwarzenegger's character. Who did the producers need to get permission from?


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: steve t
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 12:42 AM

So I note that the original Happy Birthday isn't in the DT. What if we forget the words?

Here's an alternate birthday song:

Happy birthday, happy birthday, we love you
And we hope that on this day your dreams come true
When you blow out the candles one light stays alight
That's the love that's in our eyes for you tonight.

If anyone can correct these lyrics, please do, or if you know the famous classical tune whose melody is used, you could mention that. :)


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: RS
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 08:16 PM

How about the Sandra Boynton variation:

Hippo birdies two ewes
Hippo birdies two ewes
Hippo birdies deer ewes
Hippo birdies two ewes!

Her accompanying illustrations are incredibly adorable.


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From:
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 01:26 PM

How is it enforced? A filmmaker who wants to use it in a film gets a synchronization license. If he doesn't the rightsholder can sue. The filmmakers figure, probably rightly, that even if the copyright is invalid, it's still cheaper to buy a license than litigate.

Singing at birthday parties probably constitutes a "fair use" under title 17, section 107, and if so would not require a license.

Boilerplate disclaimer: This is not legal advice, I am not a lawyer, even if I were free legal advice is worth no more than what you pay for it, etc., etc.


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Subject: RE: Happy Birthday when does copyright run out?
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 06:01 PM

In the credits of movies at least recent ones), they always list all the music that was played with the copyright information. (And I always missed 90% of the songs.) I'll bet if you watch the credits of True Lies, you'll see that "Happy Birthday" is listed.


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