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Birthday, Happy

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Mr Grue
12102.  Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:23 pm Reply with quote

The income from Happy Birthday To You is split between Time AOL Warner (boo hiss) and the Hill Foundation (hurray). The Hill Foundation was set up by Mildred and Patty Hill, the composers of Good Morning To You, and saw their nephew, Archibald Hill, receive roughly $20,000 per annum from the $2,000,000 per annum it is though the song grosses through royalyties garnered public performance. Much contention remains regarding the ethics of copyrighting such a culturally ubiquitous song, especially when linked to a multi-national conglomerate (even if they do hold the record for the greatest recorded loss in a quarterly period $54bn/37bn). It is not unlike the attempts of the estate of Martin Luther King imposing copyright on the "I have a dream" speech.

Archibald Hill, a much loved and respected linguist residing in Austin Texas, passed away in 1992. Between childless aunts and a childless nephew, it seems there is now no heir to the Hill cash cow save for the Foundation itself.

One of Archibald's habits involved taking guests on a tour of his house and pointing to various ornaments saying "Happy Birthday bought that." The Hill Foundation continues to make donations to charitable concerns, chiefly, it would seem, those involved in giving educational opportunities to the under-priveleged.


12108.  Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:04 am Reply with quote

Welcome Mr Grue, and what an interesting magazine you run (do follow his God's Rude Wireless link, folks). Stay around :-)

12134.  Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:49 pm Reply with quote

Watch the show this coming Friday, Mr Grue, and see just how quickly we can slot this kind of thing in if we have a mind to.

12136.  Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:05 pm Reply with quote

If I'm not going mad were there not questions on happy birthday on last fridays show.

12140.  Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:47 am Reply with quote

I think next Friday will be the day, Carl. And if I haven't already welcomed you, welcome to the forum :-)

12142.  Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:57 am Reply with quote

Carl may have watched the BBC4 transmission, which was of next Friday's BBC2 show, and, spookily, came out before Mr Grue's post.

<open Twilight Zone impression> ner ner ner ner, ner ner ner ner <close Twilight Zone impression>

Cleverina Clogs
12145.  Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:08 am Reply with quote

I thought Michael Jackson owned the rights to Happy Birthday...

Mr Grue
12159.  Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:31 pm Reply with quote

I'd caught the show on BBC 4 on Friday night, and by some coincidence had been looking at information about Happy Birthday To You earlier in the day whilst fobbing off at work. I thought I'd grasp the opportunity to post up the info I'd found online. I'd love to find out more about the Hill Foundation, but so far nought.

The Michael Jackson thing is an urban myth, but an intriguing one. Another version has it as Paul McCartney, and both probably stem from the fact that between them they own the Beatles songs.

Oo, and thanks for the magazine kindness. GRW will return in February or March.

Long Haired Hippy
1004114.  Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:41 am Reply with quote

And out of the blue a mysterious and long forgotten character swoops by to resurrect a long dead thread with the latest news on this copyright controversy.

Apparently Warner don't own Happy Birthday according to a reasonably thorough looking case.

One for the correction show maybe?

1004175.  Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:07 am Reply with quote

Oooh! That definitely deserved the thread resurrection!

Sadurian Mike
1004221.  Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:29 pm Reply with quote

It would have been more appropriate to resurrect it on December 11, though.


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