On Tuesday, a U.S. district judge ruled that the song lyrics to "Happy Birthday," the world's most recognized song in the English language, is now part of the public domain.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, District Judge George H. King found that Warner/Chappell's ownership claim to the song's lyrics was invalid. Though the company still owns the rights to certain piano arrangements of the song, the original copyright registration asserted no rights on the lyrics, the judge ruled.
So, now when your friends take you out to one of those cheesy franchise restaurants for your birthday, and the waitstaff swarms your table to sing to you -- EVEN THOUGH YOU EXPLICITLY TOLD YOUR FRIENDS, PLEASE, GOD, NO -- they can sing the traditional "Happy Birthday" song, rather than a made-up one, which frankly is just embarrassing for everyone involved.
For more details on this case, head over to The Hollywood Reporter.
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