Happy Birthday Song Copyright Dispute Settled


A legal battle over copyright fees for the Happy Birthday song has been settled out of court.

Warner/Chappell Music made millions enforcing the copyright to the famous tune until a federal judge ruled earlier this year they had no right to do so.

A group of artists and filmmakers wanted to recover the charges they had paid over the years, but the matter has now been settled.

A trial had been due to begin next week that could have determined whether the song is in the public domain.

No details have been given of the settlement.

Warner/Chappell said it “respectfully disagreed” with the earlier verdict but was “pleased to have now resolved this matter”.

They had been claiming fees since buying the company that owned the copyright in 1988.

It is thought they made about $2m (£1.3m) every year by charging for use in films and TV shows.

The song had different lyrics when it was penned by sisters Mildred Hill and Patty Hill sometime before 1893.

It was originally called Good Morning To All.

The lyrics we sing today were written in 1911.

According to Guinness World Records, Happy Birthday has the most famous lyrics of any song in the English language.