Prior to the lawsuit, Warner/Chappell had been earning $2 million a year licensing the song for commercial use, with a notable example the $5,000 paid by the filmmakers of the 1994 documentary, Hoop Dreams, in order to safely distribute the film. On February 8, 2016, Warner/Chappell agreed to pay a settlement of $14 million to those who had licensed the song, and would allow a final judgment declaring the song to be in the public domain, with a final hearing scheduled in March 2016. On June 28, 2016, the final settlement was officially granted and the court declared that the song was in the public domain. The following week, Nelson's short-form documentary, Happy Birthday: my campaign to liberate the people's song, was published online by The Guardian.
On September 22, 2015, federal judge George H. King ruled that the Warner/Chappell copyright claim over the lyrics was invalid. The 1935 copyright held by Warner/Chappell applied only to a specific piano arrangement of the song, not the lyrics or melody. The court held that the question of whether the 1922 and 1927 publications were authorized, thus placing the song in the public domain, presented questions of fact that would need to be resolved at trial. However, Warner/Chappell had failed to prove that it actually had ever held a copyright to the lyrics, so the court was able to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs, thus resolving the case.
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The real kick in the backside came as I approached the middle of the year. I was getting closer and closer to the Fall season - a time when I knew that I had two big trips coming up - one to Europe and one to the States. I'm a traveling girl. I get on the plane at least once a year. However, this time, I was ready to write a slightly different story for myself. I was ready to feel differently about myself. I had a picture in my mind and in it, I was sitting in a cafe in Paris drinking a latte and feeling successful, feeling at peace because I had a business that was making money even while I was on vacation.
Cover Verse: For a wonderful Sister Hope the sweetest moments of your birthday live on as memories that warm your tomorrows... Hope each happy wish being made for you finds its way to your doorstep... Hope the dreams of your heart big and small all come true... Inside Verse: ...and hope you always know what a wonderful sister you are. Happy Birthday
If you’re celebrating a birthday boy, you’ll find cards with charming animal illustrations and adventurous forest landscapes perfect for the plucky lad in your life (and all his future derring-do). Those entering their quarter- or mid-life crises deserve a card featuring sharp suiting, refined cocktails, and other trappings of fashionable maturity—it’s not so bad, we swear. Toast or roast the distinguished older gentleman in your life with funny birthday cards for men that make light of all those extra candles on the cake. Dry wit from The New Yorker and Derek Blasberg keeps the comedy fit for an evening at the Cafe Carlyle. Gents of any age will appreciate a card that features frosted gateaus, cream cakes, and other edible birthday indulgences. If you’d prefer to focus on the memories, a photo birthday card with an elegant typographic design or border frame lets you send a particularly sweet portrait of your jolly good fellow as you remember him best.