Happy Birthday Copyright Invalidated

A few days ago, a federal judge declared that the copyright on Happy Birthday is invalid. The copyright on Happy Birthday has long been pointed to as evidence that the entire copyright system has become absurd. The song has been around for over 100 years and its origins aren’t even entirely clear, yet people have been claiming to own the copyright since at least the 30s.

The current owners have basically been acting like copyright trolls, going around suing businesses that use the song without paying royalties. The judge ruled that the while the copyright itself is valid, the scope of the copyright is much more limited than claimed by the owner, effectively throwing the song into the public domain where nearly all agree it should belong.