Music news: Happy Birthday’s disputed rights, vinyl vs. streaming, and the last CD-R for Taiyo Yuden

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A complicated history – and future – for the world’s simplest song

music news happy birthdayIf you’re not following the saga of the song “Happy Birthday To You,” the piece on the Future Of Music Coalition’s site titled “Happy Birthday to You – A Chapter Closes in A High-Profile Copyright Saga” sums up the legal situation in some detail. The story itself gives insight into how complicated copyright ownership can be, and amidst other stories explaining how the original composers, Mildred and Patty Hill, actually wanted the song to be part of the public domain, the question of who should own the rights to the song get even more convoluted.

As the Future of Music article points out: “To fully understand the case history, it must be observed that the copyright of ‘Happy Birthday to You’ may be traced to three separate entities, all of which may give a different answer on the extent of the protection. First, there is the melody of ‘Good Morning to You,’ composed in 1893. Second, there are the birthday lyrics, which were not included in the original classroom version. And finally, there is the 1935 piano arrangement published by Sammy Co. that includes the ‘Happy Birthday’ lyrics, but gives no reliable indication of their origin. It is from this last date that Warner/Chappell has traced its alleged copyright of the song and calculated it to last until 2030 in the U.S.”

Vinyl sales continue to make headlines

music news vinyl salesVinyl records’ continued ascent in the past few years has many people thrilled, others predicting the end is nigh, and artists from every echelon of the music industry getting in on the action. Here at Disc Makers we’ve proudly dusted off the lathe and re-introduced vinyl packages to indie artists. Whether this points to a cultural shift back to the long-form record, as the article “Vinyl sales generate more revenue than free Spotify, YouTube, and VEVO combined” (Digital Trends) suggests, is questionable – particularly as the headline’s comparison is to ad revenue from free streaming services and not paid streaming services, which is where the bulk of streaming’s revenue come from.

“Still,” the article contends, “considering a recent report that most music listeners aren’t likely to subscribe to a paid streaming service in the next six months, this leaves plenty for industry members to mull over. Many artists have been critical of the lack of money generated through free — and even paid — music services, where it can take hundreds of millions of plays to generate any sort of notable income. If these numbers hold, more and more of those musicians will continue to work the rebirth of vinyl as part of their solution to that problem.”

JVC and Taiyo Yuden to stop producing optical media – FalconMedia remains a reliable option

music news taiyo yuden stops making optical mediaIn other music news, Victor Advanced Media announced it will cease operations, closing all of its affiliates, including JVC Advanced Media in the US, Europe, and China. The parent company of all these organizations is Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd. of Japan. Citing changing market conditions due to “the larger storage capacity of hard disc drives (HDDs) and the use of cloud computing,” the company announced it would exit the market in December 2015.

For everyone using optical media (CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, and BD-Rs), Disc Makers recommends FalconMedia, “the industry’s most reliable and highest quality blank optical media.” Made by Falcon Technologies, Inc. the discs are rated AAA in reliability and compatibility, feature a low error rate, excellent compatibility, and hub-printable surfaces to get maximum results from thermal, inkjet, and silkscreened printers. FalconMedia is playback compatible with home stereos, disc drives, and DVD players. Disc Makers offers free ground shipping via UPS on all FalconMedia blank discs.

A musician, writer, and marketer, Andre Calilhanna manages and edits the Disc Makers and BookBaby Blogs. Follow Andre on Twitter @dre_cal. Email him at

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