Did you know that Warner Bros.
currently owns the rights to the song "Happy Birthday to You"? What about the fact that it costs $1,500 to feature the song just once in a film? Documentarian Jennifer Nelson
, who is currently making a documentary about the history of "Happy Birthday to You," didn't realize either of those facts when she started making her film, and has now filed a $50 million lawsuit against Warner Bros.
over the song rights.
"Before I began my filmmaking career, I never thought the song was owned by anyone. I thought it belonged to everyone," Nelson tells The New York Times. Her goal is to have the song be declared public domain.
Back in 1988, Warner Bros.
paid $25 million to purchase the rights to "Happy Birthday" from Birchtree Ltd. It's estimated that the company makes $2 million per year in licensing fees from the song. Nelson's lawsuit notes that "Happy