Are you aware that the lyrics to the song Happy Birthday — published and copyrighted in 1935 — are still protected by United States copyright laws? To be in compliance, lawful citizens must pay royalties to Time Warner — current owner of the copyright — each time Happy Birthday is sung in public. This may include but is not limited to elementary schools, parks and restaurants.

The website unhappybirthday.com explains:

According to United States copyright law in United States Code, Title 17 §106, authors of works such as musical compositions have the exclusive right “to perform the copyrighted work publicly.” In United States Code, Title 17 §101, the law defines publicly performing a work as “to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.”

This means that if you sing Happy Birthday to your family at home, you’re probably not committing copyright infringement. However, if you do it in a restaurant — and if the restaurant hasn’t already worked out a deal with ASCAP — you may be engaging in copyright infringement.

For detailed information about how to fight this vagrant and widespread crimewave of copyright infringement, please attentively browse the unhappybirthday.com website. Join Mindflowers in this grassroots movement!

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