You know those checks you’ve been sending off every year after birthday celebrations? The royalty checks?
You don’t have to do that anymore.
A federal judge’s ruling Tuesday means that the song is now considered to be in the public domain. No longer protected by copyright, the song is free to be used by anyone, according to industry trade site Variety.
What? Oh, I hear you — it’s just not as much fun to wish somebody a happy birthday in song now that it’s no longer simultaneously a way to stick it to the man, is it?
Well, there’s always this alternative, offered up years ago by “Saturday Night Live”: