Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Live Longer, But Don't Sing Happy Birthday

I found this website called Unhappy Birthday.

It is a satirical rally for all of us to uphold the copyright of the song "Happy Birthday". It even suggests we pay ASCAP personally when we sing it, and tattle to Time Warner when others do. It's a funny idea - to drive both ASCAP and Time Warner crazy by deluging them with reports of copyright infringement every time people sing the song in a restaurant.

The most galling info on the site is here, though:

"While the copyright should have expired in 1991, copyright has been extended repeatedly over the last quarter of the twentieth century and the copyright for Happy Birthday is now not due to expire until at least 2030."

There are three links on the site that offer more on the history of the song.

If you want to think more about it, there's a wikipedia page for the Copyright Term Extension Act. And there's an article from two opposing views on BBC news page from 2004.

One of the arguments for copyright extension is that people live longer than they used to. Since copyright expires 50 years after the author's death, I'm not sure how this is supposed to matter.

Anyhow, isn't time we just open-source a NEW happy birthday song? Why do we need to sing a happy birthday ditty owned by Time Warner? There are different songs in other languages anyways. Let's just stop singing "Happy Birthday" in English, and let Time Warner hold on to a worthless ditty.


Anonymous said...

You're so bitter...:-)

You forgot to wish Ynez happy birthday last week. You're on her "bad peoples" list.

Sing that birthday song loud, sister!

Anonymous said...

I just realized you posted this on Ynez' birthday. So ironic.


JuliaMazal said...

Aw. How old is she now?

Anonymous said...

Three. Not that you care...:-)