FEATURE: ‘ Happy Birthday: how popular song became public property ‘

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#AceNewsReport – Sept.23: Judge ends years of legal rows by ruling track believed to have been written by kindergarten teacher and once sung by Marilyn Monroe is in public domain

Happy Birthday, possibly the world’s most popular song since a version was first sung in a Kentucky kindergarten more than a century ago, is finally free from copyright after a fiercely contested court battle.

The song is believed to have been composed by a teacher, Patty Hill, with her sister Mildred, a pianist, and sung as Good Morning to All by children sometime before 1893. The decision by a judge in Los Angeles that the lyrics are in the public domain could now cost Warner/Chappell Music Inc, the publishing company, millions in lost royalties.

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