Warner/Chappell Settles 'Happy Birthday To You' Suit
December 9, 2015 at 10:17 AM (PT)
WARNER/CHAPPELL MUSIC has reached a settlement to end the class action suit against it over the copyright to "Happy Birthday To You."
The settlement, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, was revealed in an order from Judge GEORGE KING that vacated a trial that had been set to begin DECEMBER 15th. A ruling in SEPTEMBER vacated WARNER/CHAPPELL's copyright to the lyrics and gave rise to the putative class action over the money the publisher has been collecting for the song back to the 1940s. WARNER/CHAPPELL had asked the judge for reconsideration of his ruling or permission to immediately appeal, but the settlement reportedly both ends that fight and leaves the song in the public domain.
Another party, a charity called THE ASSOCIATION FOR CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, has stepped forward claiming that it may be the true owner of the lyrics; its motion to intervene in the case was approved by the judge before the settlement was announced.