U. S. court rejects Warner rights claim over Happy Birthday

(AGI) Los Angeles (California), Sept 23 - A Californian courtruling means that birthday celebrants the world over will stillbe able to sing the iconic "Happy Birthday" if they want,without running the risk of being taken to court and forced topay royalties to Warner Music. The federal court in Los Angelesrejected the request of the music giant for exclusive rights tothe song. Warner Chappell Music does not "own a validcopyright to the Happy Birthday lyrics," said Judge George Kingending a two-year legal battle brought against the company by amusician and a producer

(AGI) Los Angeles (California), Sept 23 - A Californian courtruling means that birthday celebrants the world over will stillbe able to sing the iconic "Happy Birthday" if they want,without running the risk of being taken to court and forced topay royalties to Warner Music. The federal court in Los Angelesrejected the request of the music giant for exclusive rights tothe song. Warner Chappell Music does not "own a validcopyright to the Happy Birthday lyrics," said Judge George Kingending a two-year legal battle brought against the company by amusician and a producer who plan to make a film on the song.The song first appeared in 1893 and that in the originalversion was a nursery rhyme entitled "Good Morning to All", thework of Kentucky sisters, Mildred and Patty Hill. Warnerpurchased the rights in 1988 when it bought the company ClaytonF. Summy Co., subsequently known as Birch Tree, which in 1935(just 80 years ago) was recognised as holding exclusive rights. Warner had asked the two to pay 1500 dollars for the rightto use "Happy Birthday". However, the applicants Rupa Marya andRobert Siegel argued that the song was already in the publicdomain. Currently there has been no comment from Warner, whichhas been left absolutely empty handed. (AGI) . .