Judge frees 'Happy Birthday' song from copyright claims

September 23, 2015 5:57 AM

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File-This July 18, 2013, file photo shows a group of kindergarten children singing Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. The music publishing company that has been collecting royalties on the song "Happy Birthday To You" for years does not hold a valid copyright on the lyrics to the tune that is one of the mostly widely sung in the world, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a gift to many musicians, movie-makers and other content-creators, a federal judge has found that the song "Happy Birthday To You" is entirely in the public domain.

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