IP, freely

Today’s my big brother’s big birthday. I was tempted to shoot a video of me singing “Happy Birthday To You” and post it to YouTube, but I was afraid that the copyright police would bust me. You think that’s a joke. It’s not a joke. Look how scared this kid is of the copyright police busting him for singing “Happy Birthday”:

That’s okay, kid. I understand. Navigating intellectual property rights can be kind of terrifying. The good news is that because of some recent evidence uncovered in the midst of a lawsuit, there’s a chance “Happy Birthday” is finally going to fall into the public domain sometime soon, and if that happens you’ll be able to sing your little heart out without having to pay a licensing fee.

Of course, if that copyright actually does get declared null and void, everybody and their mother is going to be running around singing “Happy Birthday,” so maybe you’ll want to stand out by perfecting one of the parody variants. I’m sure you know the looking like a monkey and smelling like one too version, but I recommend the popular German variant – “Happy birthday to you, Marmelade im Schuh, Aprikose in der Hose, und ein Bratwurst dazu,” which roughly translates to “marmalade in the shoe, apricot in the pants, and with those, a bratwurst.” Now that’s a crazy party. Let’s get to practicing.


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