04 August 2006

Sing Happy Birthday, commit copyright infringement

I was rummaging through the net for some royalty-free, birthday-related images when I cam across this happy unbirthday site.

Did you know that when you sing "Happy Birthday to You" in a public place (such as the restaurant), you are actually committing copyright infringement? Yep, the song is copyrighted by no other than Time Warner and singing it in a public place is tantamount to public performance of a copyrighted song and is deemed illegal if royalties have not been paid.

My reaction: What about the kids who sing carols door-to-door? Wanna make them pay royalties too? Sure, the song may be copyrighted, but isn't there a clause whereby you need to pay royalties only if you profit from it? (Example: you record it as part of an album that's sold, or part of a concert). Wait ... so the kids ought to pay royalties for the carols they sing then? Well, a lawyer I'm not so anybody dropping by this blog knowledgeable on the matter of copyright infringement, shed light on this matter please?

Hmmm.... time to cook up a new jingle to sing Happy Birthday with. Until then, have a great weekend ahead!
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