A New Jersey radio station has sponsored a competition for a new “Happy Birthday” song—one that doesn’t require payment of a licensing fee.
The winner, “It’s Your Birthday,” was selected by a panel of judges that included Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, Bloomberg Law reports. Radio station WFMU teamed with the Free Music Archive to replace the copyrighted song with one in the public domain.
“Happy Birthday to You” was registered for copyright in 1935, though it was first published in the 1800s by two sisters who taught elementary school, Bloomberg Law says. The copyright, which won’t expire until at least 2030, is now held by Time Warner, which acquired the copyright in 1998. The song reportedly brings in $2 million per year in licensing fees for films, TV shows and advertisements, Bloomberg reports.
Above the Law isn't impressed with the winner. "Larry Lessig picked this?" the blog says. "He may need a hug."
The Free Music Archive also lists second and third place winners.
Tonight I was on The Drum on ABC News 24 discussing the news of the day, including the Coalition's leaked plan for 100 dams across Australia, Wayne Swan's refusal to rule out an income tax rise, and how far does the British royal family's right to privacy extend?
Today I was a guest on Radio National's technology show, Download This Show. Host Marc Fennell chatted to me and Jen Dudley-Nicholson, the national technology editor for News Limited, about the Zach Braff, Wearable Technology, Ecomobility:
Death by internet: Just imagine waking up one day, turning on your computer to find out that you are dead, or at least that's the story spreading around the world thanks to a bogus news story. Comedian, star of the TV show Srcubs and world-class nerd Zach Braff on what it's like to be killed off by the web, the power of social media and how people in the public eye should use the internet. Plus, why put your phone in your pocket when you it could be on your wrist? We look at the future for wearable technology.
Download the audio here.
You can also listen to previous episodes here.