Happy Birthday – the copyright

October 19, 2005 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Life, Music 

The website UnhappyBirthday.com points out that it is a copyright infringement to sing the song “Happy Birthday to You” in a public place or to a group of more than just friends and family.  They call upon each of us to write to ASCAP requesting permission to perform the song.

My wife’s birthday is coming up.  So, with a hat tip to Stay Free! Daily, I have requested permission:

ASCAP – New York
One Lincoln Plaza
New York, NY 10023


The copyright status of “Happy Birthday To You” and the law related
to public performances of copyrighted works have recently been brought
to my attention. I would therefore like to request permission in
advance to sing “Happy Birthday” to my wife at the Sovereign Bank Arena
in Trenton, NJ, on November 2, 2005, sometime between 6:30pm and 9:30pm.

My wife will be turning 40 on this day and we will probably be
attending a game of the Trenton Titans (ECHL) Hockey team as we are
season ticket holders. The rest of the party will likely include my
sister and the Weiss family who hold season tickets for the seats next
to us. Five of us will be singing though most will be off-key. We
expect there to be
approximately 4000 disinterested witnesses.

I realize this is short notice but we only recently settled the
details. If there is a charge for the privilege of singing in this
instance, please let me know. And, if there is, please specify whether
or not the cost can be reduced by moving to another location.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

Mark Smith