Ever wondered why Chili's waiters will only sing you that weird "Happy, happy birthday, blah blah blah, blah" and not the actual "Happy Birthday" song we all know and love? Well, believe it or not, a music publishing company has for decades claimed ownership of the classic song and has made millions of dollars demanding royalties for its use.
The cost and risk of lawsuits has long deterred businesses, filmmakers, artists, and others from performing or using the song outside family birthday celebrations in your mom's kitchen. But on Tuesday, a federal district court judge in Los Angeles ruled that the song in fact belongs to the public domain, which means everyone can sing it for free now -- without the risk of getting sued, according to a report by CNBC. Happy birthday, to everyone?