The song's base lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages. Hill in ,   although the claim that the sisters composed the tune is disputed. Patty Hill was a kindergarten principal in Louisville, Kentucky developing various teaching methods at the Little Loomhouse ,  and her sister Mildred was a pianist and composer.
The Supreme Court upheld the Act in Eldred v. The person whose birthday is being celebrated is filled in for "[NAME]". The earliest known publication used "John" as the example. It is traditional, among English-speakers, that at a birthday party , the song "Happy Birthday to You" be sung to the birthday person by the other guests celebrating the birthday, often when presented with a birthday cake.
After the song is sung, party guests sometimes add wishes like "and many more! 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 lead with " Hip hip 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? Are you two? Are you The music and lyrics are in public domain in the European Union and the United States. The copyright expired in the European Union on January 1, However, U. Heath in , with no reference to the words being sung. Brauneis cited problems with the song's authorship and the notice and renewal of the copyright, and concluded: "It is almost certainly no longer under copyright.
In the European Union, copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. Patty Hill died in as the last surviving author, so the copyright expired in these countries on January 1, Her complaint relied heavily on Brauneis's research, seeking the return of her money and all royalties collected by the company from other filmmakers since The court was expected to rule on the motion for summary judgment as to the merits issues on Claim One. Nelson's attorneys Betsy Manifold and Mark Rifkin presented new evidence on July 28, , one day prior to a scheduled ruling, which they argued was conclusive proof that the song was in the public domain, "thus making it unnecessary for the Court to decide the scope or validity of the disputed copyrights, much less whether Patty Hill abandoned any copyright she may have had to the lyrics".
The book contained "Good Morning and Happy Birthday", but the copy was blurry, obscuring a line of text below the title. Manifold and Rifkin located a clearer copy of an edition published in that also contained the "Happy Birthday" lyrics. The previously obscured line was revealed to be the credit "Special permission through courtesy of The Clayton F Summy Co. Manifold and Rifkin argued that the music and lyrics were published without a valid copyright notice as was required at the time, so "Happy Birthday" was in the public domain.
The company also argued that it was not acting in bad faith in withholding the evidence of the publication. On September 22, , federal judge George H. Summy Co. President John F. Kennedy in May Another notable use was by comedy pianist Victor Borge , who played the song in styles of various composers,  or would begin playing Moonlight Sonata , smoothly transitioning into the song.
Because of the copyright issue, filmmakers rarely showed complete singalongs of "Happy Birthday" in films, either substituting the public-domain " For He's a Jolly Good Fellow " or avoiding using a song entirely.
Before the song became subject to copyright claims it was used freely, as in Bosko's Party , a Warner Bros. The copyright status of "Happy Birthday to You" is directly referenced in a episode of the TV series iCarly , "iMake Sam Girlier", in which the main character as well as others begin to sing the song to Sam but are prevented from doing so by Freddie, who says the song is not public domain; "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow" is then sung instead.
In a episode of the television show Sports Night , "Intellectual Property", character Dan Rydell sings the song to his co-anchor during a telecast, forcing his network to pay royalties, and causing him to ask his colleagues to choose public-domain songs for him to sing for their birthdays. Farm episode where characters repeatedly try to sing the song, only to be stopped by others reminding them of the price.
The use of the song is a problem even if it is sung in a constructed language , as a Klingon -language version was nixed in pre-production from the 7th-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called " Parallels ", replaced with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in Klingon.
In the Futurama episode " I Second That Emotion ", they poke fun at the song and its copyright by making their own version with the lyrics "What day is today? She does, but her words are sung to the tune of "Happy Birthday To You".
Her music teacher tells her she cannot use it because "I'd have to pay those old ladies hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I've already spent our budget on construction paper. In the 30 Rock episode "Goodbye, My Friend", TGS cast members begin to sing the song following an announcement about the royalty fee for singing "Happy Birthday to You" on a television show. The cast is interrupted after the first line by a character entering the scene. In the documentary Eyes on the Prize about the U.
Civil Rights Movement , there was a birthday party scene in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After its initial release, the film was unavailable for sale or broadcast for many years because of the cost of clearing many copyrights, of which "Happy Birthday to You" was one.
Grants in for copyright clearances  allowed PBS to rebroadcast the film as recently as February In , the Western classical music conductor Zubin Mehta conducted the orchestra to play variations of "Happy Birthday" in the styles of various Western classical music composers including Wagner , Bach , Mozart and Beethoven , and in the Viennese, New Orleans and Hungarian composition styles.
During the March 6, episode of the Comedy Central series The Colbert Report , Stephen Colbert attempted to sing the song in honor of the 90th anniversary of its publication, but was prevented to due to the copyright issues. Colbert instead premiered his new "royalty-free" birthday song — which turns out to be a parody of the United States' national anthem , and ends with the stanza "Warner Music can't sue me, and the home of the brave". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the song. For the book, see Happy Birthday to You!
For other songs by that name, see Happy Birthday. Birthday song. Candles spelling "Happy Birthday", one of many types of birthday cake decorations that accompany this song. History portal United States portal Music portal. Song Stories for the Kindergarten. Bryan New, Revised, Illustrated and Enlarged ed. Chicago: Clayton F. Retrieved August 9, Dauntless Women in Childhood Education, — Washington, D. Louisville Life Program. Kentucky Educational Television. Archived from the original on August 2, The New York Times. Retrieved June 14, December 26, Retrieved March 7, The Wendy Williams Show.
Archived from the original on October 9, Retrieved September 17, The Telegraph. Retrieved September 23, Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 3, District Court for the Central District of California September 22, Retrieved June 18, Retrieved June 14, — via Google Books.
American Library Association. Journal of the Copyright Society of the U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. George Washington University Law School. Retrieved January 7, New York Post. June 13, — via Scribd. Warner Chappell Music Inc". Retrieved September 15, November 6, The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 28, Ars Technica. Retrieved July 30, Los Angeles Times.