Art's Birthday 2007
What better way to celebrate a birthday than
And what do you do when there's a birthday
Sing "Happy Birthday!"
Unless you're in a public place that is...
Singing "Happy Birthday" in your own home, as long as you're not
inviting anyone who is not a family member or common guest in your household
over, is fine. But singing it in a restaurant, bar or park, for example, is
wrong. This song is copyright protected and royalties must be paid for every
public performance or otherwise publicly accessible use.
Reportedly, it costs $10,000 US to include
the song in a movie or television program.
Under copyright legislation it is illegal
to reproduce the words or music publicly in any form. This includes foreign
translation of the lyrics and excerpting the "Happy Birthday" melody
in other compositions. Composers Irving Berlin, PDQ Bach, Roy Harris and Igor
Stravinsky have all been threatened with prosecution or forced to pay royalty
fees for including what many assume to be a folk song in their compositions.
There are allowances for public performances
of segments of 30 seconds or 10% of copyright protected work, whichever is
shorter. Remixes that maintain the integrity of the song are not exempt from
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Thanks to Mike Germain for audio recording