“‘Happy Birthday’ settlement reached”

“Great news for those of you who have been paying royalties every time you sing ‘Happy Birthday’ – assuming the judge approves a proposed settlement, he will declare that the song is in the public domain, making it free for everyone.” Warner will make some refunds for royalties paid, and plaintiff’s lawyers will ask for $4.62 million — “an awful lot of money for freeing ‘Happy Birthday.'” [Lowering the Bar; earlier here, etc.]


  • We can sing at birthdays, again! Ain’t The Law wonderful? Now, if there’d be a settlement for “Row, row, row your boat” I’d feel guilt free munching my Smoors around the campfire.

  • I disliked the boot camp cadence some restaurants came up with to avoid “happy birthday” copyright charges. The lawyers who got this copyright thrown out deserve the contingency fee.

  • IMHO, the lawyers deserve the money. I think $4.5 million is very reasonable. Unlike some class actions where consumers get little benefit, this one gives retroactive payment as well as a shield for prospective use.

  • Hugo, Bennigan’s has the worst. My college girlfriend worked there and that song tortured me.