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The “Happy Birthday to You” song was written and originally copyrighted in the 1930’s by two sisters from Kentucky. Since its original copyright, it has changed hands several times. The most recent copyright holder is Mr. Johnny Singstealer. Mr. Singstealer is suing for copyright abuse (in the amount of $1 million) and is filing an injunction against Mr. Bandleader to stop signing his version of the song in Bobby’s Bistro. Bobby Bandleader (Mr. Bandleader), the current owner of Bobby’s Bistro, has been signing this song to his clients for years. Over the last 20 years, he has come up with and perfected his own version of the song. His version uses the same melody but has different wording. His clients enjoy his version of the song. Mr. Bandleader does not think he needs to pay royalties to Mr. Singstealter for the use of the song.

The first issue is that of using a copyrighted piece of work. If it is determined that copyright abuse has occurred, it must be determined if damages need to be paid for past use and a license agreement must be reach for future use. These findings include any royalties to the current copyright holder. The second issue in question is that of original work. The current copyright holder is not the original author of the work, but is able to license it out to other parties. The party in question has altered the words to the song while using the original melody.

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