It’s a short tune consisting of only six notes, but one which is known and used around the globe yet until earlier this year, “Happy Birthday to You” was considered to be subject to copyright held by Warner/Chappell Music.  The birthday compilation is thought to have had its genesis in a Kentucky kindergarten in around 1893 at which it was sung to kindergarten children as “Good morning to you”.

Since then, the copyright has changed hands a number of times and has resulted in Warner/Chappell Music reaping millions of dollars in royalties each year because whenever it is used in television shows, movies, print or even publicly, Warner/Chappell claimed to be entitled to a royalty fee.

But all that has now changed because a US Federal Court Judge has recently ruled that the copyright originally filed by another entity in 1935 only gave them rights over specific arrangements of the music rather than the actual song itself.

The decision may seem rather trivial but it means that people can sing or play the song now in restaurants, schools, clubs,  and other public venues  without fear of being hit with a law suit by a music industry behemoth from across the globe.

So now, when it’s that special day of the year for you, feel free to sing that familiar tune as loudly and boldly as you like, because you can’t be made to pay for the privilege!


by Travis Schultz

August Young Achiever – Juade Maguire

Thank you to Hot 91 for putting on another awesome outside broadcast for the Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers, part of the Slater and Gordon Group Young Achievers Awards. Juade Maguire was the recipient of the $1000 prize for her academic and community achievements. Juade will be putting her winnings towards an end of year trip to Cambodia where she will be helping out a disadvantaged community. In order to help Juade achieve this, Principal Dr Wayne Troyahn wanted to contribute in some way so he surprised her by giving the $1000 that the school won to assist with her overseas mission. What an amazing thing to do! Congratulations Juade and we wish you all the best with your trip.

March 2015 Young Achievers – Tim & Sam Aitken hoo8hoo

hoo8hooThis morning we were at Caloundra City Private School for the Young Achievers Awards. Today we awarded brothers, Tim & Sam Aitken for their outstanding music achievements. Tim & Sam are a talented duo who write and perform their own songs as well as covers, their band is called Hoo8Hoo – Tim Aitken Sam Aitken. The boys play at many community events such as the Walk for Daniel, Wishlist Run Sunshine Coast and many more. Well done Tim & Sam! For your chance to be a Young Achiever, make sure to enter the awards via the Sunshine Coast Daily Website http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/yaa

Get on board and download the boys album which is available on iTunes https://itun.es/au/BOc35.

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June Young Achiever – Emma Rumble

Emma RumbleThis morning we visited Sunshine Beach State High School to congratulate Emma Rumble on her musical achievements. Emma plays a number of instruments including the guitar, clarinet and also sings. She would like to attend QUT next year and study music. By being the STOLAW Young Achiever Winner, Emma was awarded $1000 which she is going to put towards a new computer to record her music.