New York Times Quotes ROBERT BRAUNEIS on the "Happy Birthday" Copyright
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
We were pleased to see the New York Times quote CSUSA Trustee Robert Brauneis on the dispute over the copyright status of the "Happy Birthday" song. The Times also mentions Mr. Brauneis's article for the Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA (56 335 (2008-2009)), "Copyright and the World's Most Popular Song."
Warner Music Group holds the copyright to "Happy Birthday," but a group of artists has filed suit claiming that it is no longer valid. In a new twist, the plantiffs have submitted as evidence a 1922 songbook featuring the song's lyrics.
“It is one of the few songs that you’ve heard for as long as you’ve lived, and you kind of think of it as a folk song,” Mr. Brauneis is quoted in the Times. His Journal article argues that while the song's complex origins do not "provide simple anecdotal fodder for either opponents or proponents of strong, long copyright," the claim that it is still under copyright is weak.
Robert Brauneis is Co-Director of George Washington University's Intellectual Property Law Program and of the Dean Dinwoodey Center for Intellectual Property Studies. He was formerly a chair of our Washington, DC Chapter.
Read the full Times article here.
Members may read "Copyright and the World's Most Popular Song" by logging in and clicking the Journal Archive at their Profile Home.
More on Robert Brauneis here.