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A court in California has ruled that the lyrics to arguably the most well-known tune ever written, Happy Birthday To You, are in the public domain.


  • The copyright ownership of Happy Birthday To You by music publisher Warner/Chappell was challenged by the Los Angeles-based production company Good Morning To You Productions (GMTY) after it was forced to pay $1,500 for a license to use it in one of its productions.

Features and Benefits

  • Details the timeline of events in the case surrounding the copyright ownership of the world-famous tune Happy Birthday To You
  • Explains what happens now after the ruling declared the lyrics to the tune to be in the public domain

Key questions answered

  • Why have the lyrics to the tune Happy Birthday To You now passed into the public domain?
  • Why was the ownership of the lyrics to the tune in question in the first place?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • No more happy birthdays for Warner/Chappell
  • The court’s decision and what it means


  • Author

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