Copyright

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Thousands of films, novels and songs entered the public domain at the start of the new year. It’s the first time in decades that titles like Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie “The Pilgrim” and Virginia Woolf’s “Jacob’s Room,” were made available for anyone to reproduce or use for their own creative purposes.

Robin Robokow / flickr/robokow.net

Many may not know that one of the world’s most recognizable songs is actually one of the most profitable.  The “Happy Birthday to You” tune has been around since the late 1800’s and due to copyright protections, anyone who wants to include the ditty in their movie, ringtone or stage production has to pay for permission. Now there’s a new case against the owners of the copyright and an old songbook in Pitt’s Hillman Library may be used as evidence. Here to tell us about that songbook and the future of “Happy Birthday” is Barco Law Library interim director Marc Silverman.