As you can imagine, Happy Birthday To You is the most popular song in the world.
It's not because it's a particularly great song, not that we have anything against it, but it literally HAS to be belted out millions of time each day. But apart from hearing it when surrounded by friends and family, you don't come across it on the radio, TV, or in films, and now we know why.
Turns out Warner Music Group have owned the song's copyright for a while now, and pull in about $2 million a year in licensing fees.
Well, Warner Music Group used to own the copyright, but thanks to a recent court ruling, the song has been put into the public domain.
Warner, who had bought the rights from Birch Tree Group for $15 million in 1988, had been making a tidy profit on a song, but as it turns out the original copyright only granted the rights to specific arrangements of the music, not the actual song itself, and definitely not the lyrics.
Basically, we can expect to hear even more in the future. Great...