No. Of course not. Not unless you’re filming and charging people to see it.
But a last year a claim was filed against Warner/Chappell Music by a documentary film company, which says NO ONE should have to pay, regardless.
The film company argues the song “Happy Birthday To You” is in the public domain, and any limited copyright claim anyone had to the song expired in 1921.
Well, for the simple reason that at present, if you want to use the song in any form of recorded media, you have to get permission from and pay a usage fee to Warner/Chappell Music.
It’s the reason that most people sing the the public domain “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” instead. Even in singing “Happy Birthday To You” IN KILINGON is a no-go.
The big businesses behind television and film are is unlikely to sit back and just let that money to get pissed away down the drain. The financial repercussions for Warner/Chappell Music could be immense.
The original copyright claim comes from the fact the music and lyrics of the song “Good Morning to All”, by the Hill Sisters, were published in a book called Song Stories of the Kindergarten - with a note saying that “Happy Birthday” could be sung to the same tune.
The copyright for this book ended in 1921, and for a revised edition in 1924 - basically it appears that the publishers weren’t that bothered about extending the copyright so the music fell into public domain.
In 1924, the lyrics and music of the song we all know were published together for the first time, in a book which did not claim ownership or authorship of this now public domain material.
They were then republished in songbooks several times - each time using the fact them material was in public domain, and making no claim to ownership or copyright.
The song was then re-registered for copyright. But the claim makes the argument that it wasn’t eligible for Federal Copyright protection:
Therefore, the plaintiffs claim, it is that ONE specificpiano arrangement which is under copyright, AND NOTHING ELSE!
The case is scheduled to start by November, and a jury case has been requested. It has the potential to cost Warner/Chappell a lot of money.
You can see more of Dragunov’s photos here.
This is a country after all which will not even let international members of the party across its borders without an enormous amount of red tape. And the 1954 Communist Control Act which technically outlaws the party has never been repealed. Yet the party exists to this day with between 2-3,000 members.
When they had their 95th anniversary this year, just over 300 people turned up.
Some of these are so close to things we’ve actually seen family members share on Facebook it took us a while to figure out that it is actually satire.
Can you spot them all?
The future has really let us down.