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Happy Birthday Copyright Claims Under Fire

Over 100 years after its creation, 'Happy Birthday to You' remains a copyrighted work owned by Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., making it the most profitable song ever. Warner claims that they own the copyright through 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to it. The company makes millions off the tune every year, it is, after all, the song that earns the highest royalty rates.

Now filmmakers creating a documentary about the famous B-day song aim to change that with a lawsuit challenging the copyright claim and are "seeking to force Warner/Chappell to return the millions of dollars it has collected over the years".

The filmmakers 'Good Morning to You' - a play on the original song entitled 'Good Morning to All' - claim that "the copyright to Happy Birthday to You, if there ever was a valid copyright, expired no later than 1921." And a Good Morning to You, too.

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