Suit aims to free happy b’day... From copyright

The beloved 120-year-old ditty Happy Birthday to You is in court over copyright issues after a documentary film company filed a $5 million lawsuit to bring the popular song into the public domain.
Filmmaker Jennifer Nelson filed a lawsuit in New York on Thursday seeking to block a music company from claiming it owns the copyright to the song and charging licensing fees for its use. Nelson, was producing a documentary movie, tentatively titled Happy Birthday, about the song and in one proposed scene, the song was to be performed. But to use it in the film, she was told she would have to pay $1,500 and enter into a licensing agreement with Warner/Chappell, the publishing arm of the Warner Music Group, the lawsuit said. Nelson’s company, Good Morning to You Productions, paid the fee and entered into the agreement. “Before I began witI never thought the song was owned by anyone. I thought it belonged to everyone,” Nelson said.

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