Who Owns the Song, “Happy Birthday”?, again

20130615-081052.jpgIn the latest salvo of copyright holders trying to squeeze dollars from media creators to use the most popular song in the English language, Warner/Chappell Music Inc wants to collect 5$ million from a small production company. Its complicated but fascinating.
Happy Birthday Copyright Mess





Although the guidelines for using copyrighted music in the classroom (and literally, I mean “in the classroom”)  make it relatively easy and permissable to use most kinds of music, there is often a need to ‘publish’ your video or other media work with royalty-free music.  Examples may be: music to integrate with your school news programs, DVD’s to distribute or sell, or publishing videos or podcasts to websites that don’t police copyrighted material, etc. (like YouTube does)

There are a number of “free” music libraries students and educators can use, but its worth reading the fine print (at least some of it).  The terms of use or TOU are ridiculously boring or, at the very least, pesky to read (you know, the fine print that comes with each new version of software you load such as the latest iTunes version)…but it is vitally important you know its essence before you proceed.

Purple Planet Royalty Free Music;  Free to use, even for commercial use but they require a link- easy enough.

Freeplay Music  Vastly better library but has a lot more “TOU” info to wade through. Does not require a contract in strictly educational settings and/or for personal use.