Could you ever imagine that the popular childhood song titled “Happy Birthday” was worth a cool $5 million dollars? How many times have you sung the popular song “Happy Birthday” without paying the royalty dues that are required as part of the copyright regulations. The popular version that we all know the words to by heart was actually copyrighted in 1935 by the Summy Company as an arrangement by Preston Ware Orem, and according to Wikipedia
is scheduled to expire in 2030. Actually royalties are not required for private renditions of the song, however public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to the owner of the copyright. Who knew when Marilyn Monroe sung her lustily rendition to then President Kennedy that she was actually in violation of a federally protected intellectual piece of property. The company holding the copyright was purchased by Warner Chappell in 1990 for $15 million dollars. (It is merely a rumor that Michael Jackson or Paul McCartney own the copyright.)Restaurants such as Applebee’s must pay royalties when they sing the Happy Birthday song to their customers. Perhaps that is why they have come up with their own rendition:
Happy Happy Birthday
From Applebee’s to you
We wish it was our birthday
So we could party to, HEY!
I just hope I don't have to pay royalties for typing "Happy Birthday" in the title of this blog.