Article 13 has passed. And what might be the potential upsides? The world wants to know. And this comes after countless professionals have said that Article 13 is IMPOSSIBLE to do.
After 80 years, the copyright on the "Happy Birthday" song has been reversed, freeing up its commercial use. Thank god.
The legal battle itself took years, but a federal judge ruled Sept. 22 that the song's music and most probably the lyrics, existed before Patty Smith Hill and Mildred J. Hill claimed ownership.
The Los Angeles Times has more information:
In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, the judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the "Happy Birthday To You" song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.
Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the actual song.
'Happy Birthday' is finally free after 80 years," said Randall Newman, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit, which included a group of filmmakers who are producing a documentary about the song. "Finally, the charade is over. It's unbelievable."
There is a bit of sadness that goes along with this happy news.
Since the copyright to use such a common song was so expensive for movies and television, writers have been creating fake happy birthday songs for decades. And they're usually wonderfully terrible.
But it was also really distracting. Characters would sing some weird-ass song and you'd just know it was because some record company's gotta get paid.
This was also the reason that restaurants sang you crappy, crappy songs on your birthday instead of the real deal. Now you won't every have to hear some fake, semi-offensive Italian approximation at Olive Garden.
Our long national nightmare is over.
When a proud mother uploaded a short video of her baby dancing to YouTube in 2007, she probably didn't expect it to become a lightning rod for copyright law.
Stephanie Lenz's children were just jamming out to Prince, a harmless representation of proud motherhood. Universal Music Group saw it as something different — using their music without paying for the rights.
The Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" was playing on a stereo in the background of the short clip. Universal Music Group sent YouTube a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), claiming that the family video infringed the copyright in Prince's song. EFF sued Universal on Lenz's behalf, arguing that Universal abused the DMCA by improperly targeting a lawful fair use.
Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders like Universal must consider fair use before trying to remove content from the Internet. It also rejected Universal's claim that a victim of takedown abuse cannot vindicate her rights if she cannot show actual monetary loss.
Basically the Ninth Circuit court told copyright holders to slow their roll with all of the cease and desist notices that have plagued YouTube videos. The opinion states reminds these hyper lawyers that there is a legal doctrine called 'fair use' which allows the usage of copyrighted material without paying for the license for things like research, teaching, news reporting and sharing a video of your cute kids dancing to a song.
TL;DR A high court told copyright lawyers to calm down.