Access practice tools, as well as industry leading news, customizable alerts, dockets, and primary content, including a comprehensive collection of case law, dockets, and regulations. Leverage...
Feb. 9 — Warner/Chappell Music Inc. will set up a $14 million fund to repay those who have over the last 60-plus years paid fees to license use of “Happy Birthday to You!,” under the terms of a settlement agreement filed Feb. 8 with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
The parties announced their intent to settle the claims in early December, but that filing did not disclose the terms of settlement . The parties have now disclosed their agreement to the court to seek approval of the terms for the entire class of licensees that the plaintiffs sought to represent.
In September, the court ruled that Warner/Chappell did not hold any copyright interest in the “Happy Birthday” lyrics. The underlying melody and the original “Good Morning to You” lyrics are public domain.
The agreement does not require any of the parties to admit that settlement implies their positions were wrong.
Indeed, there is a term of the agreement in which Warner and the other defendants and intervenors “deny any liability or wrongdoing of any kind associated with the claims alleged.”
They further deny that Warner does not hold a copyright interest, that the song is in the public domain, and that there is any cause of action suitable for class action treatment.
The intervenors—the Association for Childhood Education International and the Hill Foundation Inc.—are also part of the settlement, although they, too, do not surrender their claims that, if Warner was never transferred the copyright, then they hold it.
Under the terms, individuals who paid Warner or its predecessors in interest—the Harry Fox Agency, Alfred Music Inc. or Faber Music Ltd.—for use of the song will have to provide documentation of payment for licenses and submit a specified claim form in order to seek a portion of the settlement fund.
The court will have to approve the settlement, and members of the defined class of licensees will get a chance to object to its terms before final approval.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text is available at: http://src.bna.com/cx7.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)