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Happy Birthday to the Hill Sisters

HeyMatt:

I was thinking about restaurants and how the wait staff all have clever versions of the "Happy Birthday" song. I've heard all the talk about how copyrights won't allow them to sing it. So in case I ever buy a restaurant, what are the laws regarding the Birthday Song?

-- Steve the Libra, the net

The laws are, no commercial use, musically or in print, without publisher's permission until the copyright runs in 2030. The heirs of the Hill sisters of Kentucky own the rights to this 1893 ditty that began life as "Good Morning to You." Rampant copyright violations in the 1920s and 1930s inspired one of the sisters to take the whole thing to court. So if your wait beings serve free cake with a chorus of "Happy Birthday to You," first check to make sure it's not to a table of ASCAP employees.

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HeyMatt:

I was thinking about restaurants and how the wait staff all have clever versions of the "Happy Birthday" song. I've heard all the talk about how copyrights won't allow them to sing it. So in case I ever buy a restaurant, what are the laws regarding the Birthday Song?

-- Steve the Libra, the net

The laws are, no commercial use, musically or in print, without publisher's permission until the copyright runs in 2030. The heirs of the Hill sisters of Kentucky own the rights to this 1893 ditty that began life as "Good Morning to You." Rampant copyright violations in the 1920s and 1930s inspired one of the sisters to take the whole thing to court. So if your wait beings serve free cake with a chorus of "Happy Birthday to You," first check to make sure it's not to a table of ASCAP employees.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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