Re: ASCAP vs Happy Birthday
Mark Arend (arend@PEOPLES.NET)
Thu, 29 Aug 1996 07:30:40 -0500
>I'm wondering the same thing. Contrary to a previous message, ASCAP also
>claims rights to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Does anyone know how
>this is possible?On Sun, 25 Aug 1996, Cheryl Singhal wrote:
>> Happy Birthday to You, was (A) universally known in the US in my
>> youth; (B) sung in some B&W movies of the WW2 and before era. So how
>> come it's still under copyright?
>> Where has my math gone astray?
OK, here's the story on Happy Birthday. It was first written by 2 sisters
in the 1890s with the words "Good morning to you". In the mid-30s updated
words were written (Happy Birthday). So if I understand this correctly the
*tune* is now in the public domain but the *words* are not. The copyright
on the *words* ends this year.
I got the preceeding information from the incomparable Cecil Adams, author
of the *Straight Dope* books & newspaper column.
Mark W. Arend
Beaver Dam Community Library Outside of a dog, a book is man's
311 N. Spring St. best friend. Inside of a dog
Beaver Dam, Wisc. 53916 it's too dark to read.
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