Oh, Happy Day: Happy Birthday Enters the Public Domain

Intellectual property attorney and litigator, Andrew MacKay was interviewed by Nancy Weingartner for this article in the Franchise Times.

The article explains, now that a judge has ruled ‘Happy Birthday To You’ is in the public domain, franchise restaurateurs may stop singing alternative versions of the song, if they choose to do so. Until the class action lawsuit by Donahue Fitzgerald and several other law firms and plaintiffs, Warner/Chappell claimed the copyright to ‘Happy Birthday To You.’

Excerpted from the article:

“”The penalty for copyright infringement was steep, MacKay says—the infringer could be sued for damages that could be as high as $150,000 if Warner/Chappell could prove willful disregard. Paying the licensing fee was expensive as well …”

“Usually we’re on the side of the owner of the IP (intellectual property),” MacKay says. But this was righting an injustice. “After the hearing we went on the courthouse steps and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Rupa’s guitar accompaniment.” Happy day, dear Warner/Chappell, not so happy day to  you.”

Read the full article: Oh, Happy Day: Happy Birthday Enters the Public Domain featured on the Franchise Times website.

Article on Franchise Times website "Oh, Happy Day: Happy Birthday Enters the Public Domain"