A Smoking Gun in the Case of Who Owns ‘Happy Birthday to You’

KQED’s Cy Musiker interviews Donahue Fitzgerald attorney Daniel Schacht and his client, Rupa Marya, about the Happy Birthday To You class action lawsuit.

Schacht explains the copyright issues of the Happy Birthday To You‬ ‪class action lawsuit, which has captured the world’s attention. In the interview he points to a songbook published in the early 1920s, which he refers to as the “smoking gun.” The songbook, containing the music and lyrics to the world’s most beloved and frequently performed song in the English language, was published without a copyright. He goes on to explain that if Happy Birthday To You was published, “without a copyright notice, it falls immediately into the public domain.”

Read the full interview “A Smoking Gun in the Case of Who Owns ‘Happy Birthday to You’” on KQED’s website.

Intellectual property attorneys Daniel Schacht and Andrew MacKay are co-counsels in Good Morning to You Productions Corp. et al. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. In addition to his prominent trademark and copyright litigation, Schacht represents international music superstars such as Carlos Santana, Journey, and the Doobie Brothers as head of Donahue Fitzgerald’s entertainment practice. MacKay is a key member of Donahue Fitzgerald’s intellectual property enforcement and litigation teams, which have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars and stopped the illegal distribution of hundreds of thousands of unauthorized products for clients such as Dyson Technology Ltd., Autodesk, Inc., and Adobe Systems Incorporated.