The American company Warner / Chappell, many years to sell the rights to the performance of the famous song “Happy Birthday to you”, she is not her copyright, held a US federal court .
For each use of the well-known song in the movies, on television, in advertising and at public events company Warner / Chappell received money. Annually accumulates about $ 2 million.
The work is protected by copyright since 1935. The owners of Warner / Chappell purchased the rights to the product in 1988 from another company.
However, Judge George King ruled that the license relates only to the melody but not for the song entirely.
made famous tune was written in 1893 by two sisters from Kentucky Mildred and Patty Hill. Initially it was called Good Morning To All (“Good morning everyone”).
The lawsuit against Warner / Chappell filed in 2013 documentary Rupa Marya and Robert Segal, who worked at that time on a film about this song.
The company asked them to pay $ 1,500 for the right to use the song in the movie.
However, the filmmakers began to argue that the song is in the public domain and of any copyright are not talking.
During the proceedings it became clear that no one has ever owned the rights to the lyrics.
“Sisters Hill was given at the time the rights of Summy Co on the melody itself and based on her piano arrangements, but not the words, “- said Judge King.
Warner / Chappell claims that bought the rights to” Happy Birthday to you “for $ 25 million after the company heiress Summy Co ceased to exist in 1980 .
“We understand the position of the court, and we weigh our next steps,” – the company said after the verdict.