In 1935, several specific piano arrangements and an unused second verse of "Happy Birthday to You" were copyrighted as a work for hire crediting Preston Ware Orem for the piano arrangements and Mrs. R. R. Forman for the lyrics by the Summy Company, the publisher of "Good Morning to All".[24][25] This served as the legal basis for claiming that Summy Company legally registered the copyright for the song, as well as the later renewal of these copyrights.[26] A later 2015 lawsuit would find this claim baseless. That specific new lyrics that also included the full text of "Happy Birthday to You", was a copyright on the derivative work. A 1957 acquisition of C.C. Birchard & Company saw Summy Company becoming the Summy-Birchard Company. A later corporate restructuring in the 1970s saw Summy-Birchard becoming a division of a new company: Birch Tree Group Limited.

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, immediately after "Happy Birthday" has been sung, it is traditional for one of the guests to enthusiastically lead with "Hip hip ..." and then for all of the other guests to join in and say "... hooray!" This is normally repeated three times. In Canada, especially at young children's birthdays, immediately after "Happy Birthday" has been sung, the singers segue into "How old are you now? How old are you now? How old are you now-ow, how old are you now?" and then count up: "Are you one? Are you two? Are you ..." until they reach the right age, at which the celebrant says "yes", and everybody else, who presumably know the right number, all cheer.[citation needed]
Prior to the lawsuit, Warner/Chappell had been earning $2 million a year licensing the song for commercial use,[44] with a notable example the $5,000 paid by the filmmakers of the 1994 documentary, Hoop Dreams,[47] in order to safely distribute the film.[48] 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.[49][50] On June 28, 2016, the final settlement was officially granted and the court declared that the song was in the public domain.[18] The following week, Nelson's short-form documentary, Happy Birthday: my campaign to liberate the people's song, was published online by The Guardian.[51]
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This card has optional greetings: Merry Christmas!, Season's Greetings!, Happy Holidays!, Happy Christmas!, Happy New Year!, Have an Ice Day!, Thank You!, Celebrate!, Happy Solstice!, Happy Birthday!, Happy Belated Birthday!, Happy Anniversary!, Happy Valentine's Day!, I Love You!, Get Well Soon!, Congratulations!, You're Invited!, Come to the Party!, Just Saying Hi!, Thinking of You!, [No Caption]
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