Do Your Part to Save 'Happy Birthday' From Eternity of Copyright Hell

STV · 05/12/08 03:45PM

Our bosses would never let this fly on our expense report, otherwise we would hire a lawyer right now and take Warner Music to court for hogging the rights to the world's most popular song — "Happy Birthday to You" — when we're told it doesn't even own them. At least that's the argument of Robert Brauneis, a law professor at George Washington University whose close read of the song's copyright history suggests anyone with enough money, free time or a sadistic streak could liberate "Happy Birthday" for public well-wishers around the world: