‘Happy Birthday’ Suit Resolved: The Most-Sung Song Is Free for All

UC Berkeley School of Law Alumni Daniel Schacht and Andrew MacKay spoke to Andy Gilbert about the ‘Happy Birthday To You’ class action lawsuit for this article published in California Magazine. 

Schacht recounts the story of how he heard a podcast by law professor Robert Brauneis about ‘Happy Birthday To You’ making two points, (1) the song is not under copyright and (2) no one could do anything about it. Schacht decided to do some research of his own and felt he could successfully challenge Warner/Chappell’s copyright claim to the  world’s most beloved song.

With over 25 years of combined experience in handling intellectual property and copyright matters , Schacht and MacKay were the right lawyers to challenge the copyright claim on behalf of their client Rupa Marya. Rupa, a Bay Area musician, had paid $455 to Warner/Chappell to put out 5000 CDs that included a recording of the audience serenading her with Happy Birthday at a 2013 concert at the Independent in San Francisco.

When Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz  filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of a filmmaker just days before them, the legal teams joined forces.

Read the full article: ‘Happy Birthday’ Suit Resolved: The Most-Sung Song Is Free for All featured on the Cal Alumni Berkeley website.