In what should be seen as a victory for copyright in America – the Happy Birthday song is now, officially, pending future appeals, in the public domain.
From the LA Times:
This may seem like not a big deal – but the implications are pretty huge. Whether or not anything will come from the upcoming class-action lawsuit to recoup fees that Warner / Chappell has collected for the past god-knows-how-many-years is yet to be seen. I think that it is enough that this overreach of copyright has been stymied, finally. And we can hope that with the threat of class-action suits against future overreach, that claims of copyright will have to be more thoroughly researched by the companies that are asserting these rights. Legal take down scare tactics just lost a bit of their punch.