Happy Birthday to You on TV.

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JWG
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Happy Birthday to You on TV.

Post by JWG »

A recent court case has decided that,bar a specific arrangement,this song is finally public-domain.
I'm amused when the copyright was avoided-we got a rendition of a new song called"Today is Penny's Birthday" on a Lost in Space,while the cast of ICarly were enjoined to sing along to "A public-domain birthday song" which wasn't HBTY.
I'm guessing there weren't any problems here in the UK as far as broadcast rights were concerned?

Brock
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by Brock »

JWG wrote:A recent court case has decided that,bar a specific arrangement,this song is finally public-domain.
...in the US. According to the BBC news report, it's still copyrighted in the UK:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34332853

What interests me in particular is this bit (from Mark Rifkin, one of the lawyers from the plaintiffs):
"In the second part of the case, which hopefully we'll get to start very soon, we're going to be asking the court to order Warner to return all the money that's been collected from everyone who has had to pay a licensing fee or royalty to use the song... at least going back to 1988."

"If they've collected $2m a year over that period, that's a large sum of money."

JWG
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by JWG »

The Guardian states:
"Without the court judgement, it would not have been freely available in the public domain in the US until 2030, and in the EU until 31 December 2016".
Which sort of mixes up the tenses,now.

I enjoyed the recent documentary on this subject.

Has the song proved a problem with the release of shows on DVD?

ian b
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by ian b »

One of the Wallace & Grommit films has had it replaced or snipped out - the first I think.

JWG
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by JWG »

ian b wrote:One of the Wallace & Grommit films has had it replaced or snipped out - the first I think.
Ah-ha.According to Pikiwedia: "In the original airing of the film, Gromit's birthday card plays "Happy Birthday to You" as it is associated with birthdays in Australia and North America. When the film was released on DVD by Warner Home Video in 2000, and by DreamWorks Home Entertainment SKG in 2005, this was replaced with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" to avoid copyright infringements. Also removed for the DVD (again for reasons of copyright) are two specific songs from the penguin's radio replaced with extracts from Hammond organ versions of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree". The pieces that were removed are "Happy Talk" from the musical South Pacific and "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?", along with Wallace's humming of it the subsequent morning. The VHS was released in 1994 by CBS/Fox Video with a trailer for A Grand Day Out at the end.

In addition, Gromit's TV at breakfast no longer plays the Open University theme. In the 2009 HD version of the film, Julian Nott's soundtrack appears to have been remixed or rerecorded. The Blu-ray release also does not include the original music. However the original soundtrack can still be heard in the background of the commentary track of the DVD release. The original soundtrack can also be heard in The Wrong Trousers when viewed in other languages and in English when viewed with other language subtitles.[3]".

Could well be the one I was thinking of.

ghughesarch
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by ghughesarch »

JWG wrote:
ian b wrote:One of the Wallace & Grommit films has had it replaced or snipped out - the first I think.
Ah-ha.According to Pikiwedia: "In the original airing of the film, Gromit's birthday card plays "Happy Birthday to You" as it is associated with birthdays in Australia and North America. When the film was released on DVD by Warner Home Video in 2000 ... this was replaced with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" to avoid copyright infringements.
to avoid infringing a copyright they themselves claimed to own? ISTR some trouble with The Simpsons using some Fox News (or similar) material until it was realised they essentially belonged to the same bloke...

David Smith
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by David Smith »

They sang HBTY on the live Corrie tonight; wonder if they'd paid for it already (or if they can get a retrospective refund)? ☺

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Bob Richardson
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by Bob Richardson »

JWG wrote: I'm guessing there weren't any problems here in the UK as far as broadcast rights were concerned?
Most production assistants at the BBC would have logged the use of the song on a programme's P-as-B ("Programme As Broadcast", later renamed P-as-C or "Programme as Completed") for PRS records. I recall conversations about the piece on a number of occasions over my 36 years at the Beeb and it was always in connection with much-resented copyright payments for a song often assumed to be public domain.

Although signatories to the Berne Convention, the USA has a sometimes cavalier attitude to copyright, assigning rights to itself for names such as "Budweiser" and "Pantone". The former is a 13th century Czech brewery name and the latter was a British halftone process dating from the 1920s, both of which have now been appropriated by US companies and vigorously enforced by the new American "owners".

On a tangent - "Points of View" once acceded to a viewer request and ended the show with a clip of a brass band playing on the pitch before the Cup Final, something which "Grandstand" had "neglected to do" the previous Saturday, according to the correspondent. When the bill for the musicians performances and the composer royalties (Barry Gray, ISTR) landed on the PoV producer's desk the "Grandstand" production manager told me she would have loved to be a fly on the wall when it was opened. It cost a bomb - which is the reason "Grandstand" had quite deliberately overlooked it. I don't think PoV made that mistake again.
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Clive
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Re: Happy Birthday to You on TV.

Post by Clive »

Yesterday morning "Today" on R4 made a thing about it and phoned up Henry Blofeld to sing him "Happy Birthday" 'with no cost to the license payer' ! Which curiously they didn't do and just read out the words instead. I guess the BBC were trying to keep it on the safe-side as it's the music that is copyright and not the words.

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Scary
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by Scary »

David Smith wrote:They sang HBTY on the live Corrie tonight; wonder if they'd paid for it already (or if they can get a retrospective refund)? ☺
The broadcasters have a blanket agreement over music royalties, they pay a fixed amount per year rather than per song.... although is that just for recorded music?

Brian F
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by Brian F »

Scary wrote:
David Smith wrote:They sang HBTY on the live Corrie tonight; wonder if they'd paid for it already (or if they can get a retrospective refund)? ☺
The broadcasters have a blanket agreement over music royalties, they pay a fixed amount per year rather than per song.... although is that just for recorded music?
I don't know about that, but for amateur stage plays there are (or at least were) different rates for if the music is general - heard only by the audience for set changes pre- show and for if it is meant to be heard by the cast, radio TV etc. during the performance.

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Bernie
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by Bernie »

Bob Richardson wrote: On a tangent - "Points of View" once acceded to a viewer request and ended the show with a clip of a brass band playing on the pitch before the Cup Final, something which "Grandstand" had "neglected to do" the previous Saturday, according to the correspondent. When the bill for the musicians performances and the composer royalties (Barry Gray, ISTR) landed on the PoV producer's desk the "Grandstand" production manager told me she would have loved to be a fly on the wall when it was opened. It cost a bomb - which is the reason "Grandstand" had quite deliberately overlooked it. I don't think PoV made that mistake again.
Well, it wasn't me!

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JWG
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Re: Happy Birthday to You on TV.

Post by JWG »

And who can forget
Happy Birthday
Dear Erm Erm Erm

in Are You Being Served?

Mark
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Re: Happy Birthday to You on TV.

Post by Mark »

JWG wrote:And who can forget
Happy Birthday
Dear Erm Erm Erm

in Are You Being Served?
And..my 1974 flexi...with Eric and Ernie.!
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

JWG
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Re: Happy Birthday to You on TV.

Post by JWG »

Mark wrote:
JWG wrote:And who can forget
Happy Birthday
Dear Erm Erm Erm

in Are You Being Served?
And..my 1974 flexi...with Eric and Ernie.!
Onomatopoeia was never my strong suit!

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

JWG wrote:The Guardian states:
"Without the court judgement, it would not have been freely available in the public domain in the US until 2030, and in the EU until 31 December 2016".
Which sort of mixes up the tenses,now.
Yes, the US term for some works is 95 years after copyright registratuion, while the UK/EU is now end of the year 70 years after the death of the last "author" to die. Chappell/Warner were basing their claim on a 1935 registration of a particular piano arrangement (even though the song had been around much earlier), while the last of the Hill sisters - who actually originated the tune/lyrics - to die was in May 1946.
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

Brock
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Re: Happy Birthday to You pretty much out of copyright.

Post by Brock »

JWG wrote:
Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:55 pm
The Guardian states:
"Without the court judgement, it would not have been freely available in the public domain in the US until 2030, and in the EU until 31 December 2016".
Thank goodness for that. The Government is now telling us to sing it twice every time we wash our hands :-)

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