They say that all good things must come to the end. Evidently, some of the bad stuff crashes and burns from time to time as well, seeing as this will be the final Nunnsense column.
This 96th Nunnsense marks the end of an unbroken streak of almost two-years’ worth of (hopefully) comically repeated news bits.
There have been high-water marks and low-water marks. I’ve gone back to look at some and think to myself, “Jeez, I just gave up that week, didn’t I,” while, on the other hand, some still make me laugh when I look back.
There are also two or three columns that I couldn’t get past Kathryn or Patrick for publication because they were a little bit over the line. (I bet you wish you could see those.) All in all, Nunnsense has been a fun little project that stemmed from being bored on a Tuesday and reading a story about a particularly unlucky pig farmer was eaten by his chattel. I hope that you have all enjoyed the column as much as I have, so I’ll leave you with one last bit of weird news… Warner/Chappell is being sued for “hundreds of millions” of dollars because of unduly collected royalties stemming from their claimed ownership of the song “Happy Birthday.” Oh, snap. Yep, a documentary film company that has been researching the history of the song – long believed to be under copyright by Warner Bros. – is challenging Warner/Chappell’s claim to the iconic tune.
The assumed copyright, which is the reason why most restaurant have idiotic, giddy replacement ceremonies instead of simply singing “Happy Birthday” to their patrons, is being second-guessed in the class action lawsuit, which provides a pretty interesting history of the development and use of the song itself. In the 26-page complaint, the primary plaintiff, Good Morning to You Productions, Corp., is claiming that “irrefutable” evidence shows that the copyright, if it ever was valid, should have expired no later than 1921, leaving Warner with only the “narrow” rights to certain sheet music publications of the tune. In addition to wanting the song to be placed in the public domain for public use, Good Morning to You Productions is also asking for “monetary damages and restitution of all the unlawful licensing fees” that Warner/Chappell has collected over the years.
Naturally, this suit means bad things for the good old Warner Brothers, but, if your greatest dream has always been to have the real “Happy Birthday” song sung to you at an Applebee’s, your day may be here soon.