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Friday, June 20, 2014

Please do not sing Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Patricia L. Cummings

In the more than six decades that I have lived, I never knew until now this bit of news that comes from the department of strange news, Indeed. To read the long story, posted to NPR, click on the following link
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http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/06/17/192676099/this-one-page-could-end-the-copyright-war-over-happy-birthday

Or take my word for it, as repeated from what I learned from a recent guest on NPR. Copyright law is alive and well and demands a fee, yes, money, to any business or corporation that wants to play, sing, record, or otherwise feature or perform what has come to be known as "The Birthday Song."

Yes, like most of us, I have heard various versions over the years - that is, different words put to the same familiar tune. Anyone over 6 years old probably at least secretly resents that song being sung to them.

This new report explains why some restaurants are beginning to offer other ways of honoring a birthday - a free dessert is one of them, a rap song is another.

Since this is still my birthday week, the news was timely. The company that polices the song makes over $2 million dollars per YEAR for permission for a corporation or  person to play or sing the age-old anthem. If that fact would deter people from using it, all the better. We need a new tradition.

Now on to more un-birthday things to do!
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