Is there any case of copyright more egregious than that of “Happy Birthday to You”? I doubt it.
The purpose of creating art is to share something with the public conscience. Few are lucky enough to have something so well known, so iconic that everyone wants it to be everywhere. Copyright in some cases, like “Happy Birthday to You”, essentially tells people that a business owns a part of the culture. While this makes complete sense in a capitalistic culture, it is a sad reality. Rather than our culture’s being something we share, it’s something that we buy, borrow, and rent.