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11. Something that used to be illegal – but isn’t anymore

Last updated: March 7, 2016

By , Insure.com

Happy birthday song

One thing that used to be illegal but isn’t anymore:  singing Happy Birthday in public. It used to be that anyone who belted out the song in public would owe royalties to the entity that owned the rights to the song. That is why when celebrating a birthday at a restaurant, another song was used in its place. However, in 2015, a federal judge ruled that the copyright originally filed in 1935 was only for the melody and specific arrangement of the tune, not the song itself. This now places the song’s lyrics in the public domain and no longer protected by copyright -- which brought its owner $2 million a year.

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