Quantcast

The Battle for the Most Popular Song in the World

By Will Smith

Happy Birthday to You may be the most popular song in the world, but it's still copyright protected. However, that may not be the case for long.

Happy Birthday to You may be the most popular song in the world, but it isn't part of the public domain. In fact, the song is owned by an arm of Warner Music Group, which collects royalties based on its use in media and public venues (this is why the wait staff at chain restaurants sing chain-specific birthday songs today). However, recent studies have questioned the copyright claim to Happy Birthday, and documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson is going to court to find out whether the song is privately held or actually part of the public domain.