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Happy Birthday

  1. Happy Birthday, @girlvsplanet! We Got You Free Creative Commons License Birthday Songs

    We asked if it was anyone's birthday yesterday. It was, so we got them a present.

    It seems like most of our Twitter followers were afraid to admit it was their birthday yesterday, but they're missing out. We found out it was @girlvsplanet's birthday, and we got them a gift!

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  2. Lawsuit Attempts to Drag “Happy Birthday” Kicking and Screaming Into Public Domain

    That song it totally doesn't seem like anyone should have a copyright on? Turns out, the company claiming to hold that copyright might not.

    For decades, the charming ditty "Happy Birthday" -- a fixture of birthday parties from Chuck E. Cheese to the local tavern -- has existed under a dubious copyright by Warner Music, bringing in huge licensing fees for the company every year. Now, though, a documentary production company working on a film about "Happy Birthday" is suing Warner, alleging that the song is part of the public domain and the company's claims to its copyright are invalid. If this works out, it could spell the end of characters on TV shows awkwardly doing everything but the one thing that is invariably done at every birthday party ever -- sing "Happy Birthday."

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  3. These Are Your New Creative Commons Happy Birthday Songs

    It's very likely that ASCAP and Time Warner are the only people who don't think it's stupid that the song "Happy Birthday to You" is copyrighted, and they only think that because they manage to squeeze two million dollars a year out of licensing the song. To combat this, radio station WFMU and the Free Music Archive teamed up to hold a contest for a replacement to the popular tune that we can all sing at parties, sing in public, and even sing in film and television without paying royalties as long as the artists are credited. The results are in, and here are your new go-to birthday jams.

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  4. Hapi Berth Dey Helps You Avoid Copyright [Video]

    Picking on the fact that "Happy Birthday" is not in the public domain is a pretty popular fact on which to poke fun, especially considering its popularity and age, and how deeply embedded into society the song is. Even Aaron Sorkin picks on it. Barats & Bereta, creators of digital shorts put up on the YouTubes, have come up with a solution to the age-old problem of "Happy Birthday" not being public domain. Granted, there are many ways around the issue to begin with, but this is an amusing one that's about "an Egyptian river god who finds a place to sleep atop two sheep and a deer named Harrison, who also happen to be governors of Algiers before the French conquest in 1830." So, you know. Watch it.

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  5. Celebrating Anime Master Miyazaki on His 70th Birthday

    Today is the 70th birthday of renowned Japanese animator, Hayao Miyazaki, known to some as "Japan's Walt Disney," known to all as the creator of some of the most successful animated features in recent memory. His 2001 release, Spirited Away, was the first Japanese movie to win an American Academy Award and was produced after a short retirement following his previous effort, Princess Mononoke in 1997. In other words, we probably haven't heard the last of him.

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