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Submission + - "Happy Birthday" Public Domain after all?->

jazzdude00021 writes: No song has had as contentious of copyright history as "Happy Birthday." The song is nearly ubiquitous at birthday parties in the USA, and even has several translations with the same tune. Due to copyrights held by Warner Music, public performances have historically commanded royalty fees. However, a new lawsuit has been brought to prove that "Happy Birthday" is, and always has been in the public domain.The discovery phase for this lawsuit ended on July, 11 2014, yet this past week new evidence surfaced from Warner Music that may substantiate the claim that the lyrics were in the public domain long before the copyright laws changed in 1927. From the source:

And, here's the real kicker: they discovered this bit of evidence after two questionable things happened. (1) Warner/Chappell Music (who claims to hold the copyright for the publishing, if it exists) suddenly "found" a bunch of relevant documents that it was supposed to hand over in discovery last year, but didn't until just a few weeks ago, and (2) a rather important bit of information in one of those new documents was somewhat bizarrely "blurred out." This led the plaintiffs go searching for the original, and discover that it undermines Warner Music's arguments, to the point of showing that the company was almost certainly misleading the court. Furthermore, it definitively shows that the work was and is in the public domain.


Link to Original Source
Apple

Steve Jobs Takes Leave of Absence From Apple 429

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Network World: "A number of sites are reporting that Apple's CEO Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence till June at least. Speculation over Jobs' possibly failing health has run rampant in the past few weeks. Prior to the recent MacWorld show, Jobs said he had a hormone deficiency that had caused him to dramatically lose weight. In a memo today Jobs told workers his health issues are more complex than he thought." Reader Bastian227 adds a link to this letter from Steve Jobs on Apple's website, which also says that Tim Cook will be responsible for daily operations, though Jobs will remain involved with major strategic decisions.
Education

Discuss the US Presidential Election & Education 1515

In 24 hours, many of you will be able to vote. So as we come down to the wire, this is really our last chance to talk about the issues. We've already discussed Health Care, the War, and the Economy. Today I'm opening up the floor to discuss education. Perhaps no other issue will matter more in 50 years. Which candidate will make the next generation smarter?
Image

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 489

I am responsible for reading most of the help requests sent to Slashdot. Most of the mail I get in a day is what you would expect, comments and concerns about postings, user accounts and Slashdot itself. There are a very special group however that get passed around the office due to the inordinate level of anger, lack of understanding and just plain weirdness they possess. Through the years I've collected many and still get such gems on a regular basis. We thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite rants, ramblings and ruminations with the rest of you. I give to you the first of many installments of Slashdot's disagree mail. The names have been changed to protect the idiot — hit the link below to drink it in.
Microsoft

Microsoft Designed UAC to Annoy Users 571

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "At the 2008 RSA security conference, Microsoft's David Cross was quoted as saying, 'The reason we put UAC into the platform was 'to annoy users. I'm serious.' The logic behind this statement is that it should encourage application vendors to eliminate as many unnecessary privilege escalations as possible by causing users to complain about all the UAC 'Cancel or Allow' prompts. Of course, they probably didn't expect that Microsoft would instead get most of the complaints for training users to ignore meaningless security warnings."
Republicans

Has Ron Paul Quit? 878

Lally Singh sends us to the inside-the-Beltway blog Wonkette for a quick take on a letter Ron Paul sent to his supporters. In this analysis, Dr. Paul has basically called it quits. "Late Friday night, Dr. Congressman Ron Paul posted a letter to his fans basically saying it's over, but he will continue talking about his message, and plus it would be completely embarrassing for him if he also lost his congressional seat."
Politics

Ron Paul Campaign Answers Slashdot Reader Questions 1011

On January 15th we asked you for tech-oriented questions we could send to the various presidential candidates, and you responded like mad. The candidates were the exact opposite: not a single one answered emails we sent to their "media inquiry" links or email addresses. Slashdot has more readers than all but a handful of major daily papers, so that's kind of strange. Maybe they figure our votes aren't worth much or that hardly any of us vote. In any case, the Ron Paul campaign finally responded, due to some string-pulling by a Slashdot reader who knows some of Ron Paul's Texas campaign people. Perhaps other Slashdot readers -- like you (hint hint) -- can pull a few strings with some of the other campaigns and get them to communicate with us. Use this email address, please. But first, you'll probably want to read the Ron Paul campaign's answers to your questions (below).
Republicans

Best Presidential Candidate, Republicans 1481

A few days ago we posted a story for you to discuss the best presidential candidates for Super Tuesday, but I figured it would be an interesting idea to try that again, but split the discussion into 2 halves. This is the Republican half — please only discuss the Republican candidates in this story. Huckabee, McCain, and Romney only.
Government

Best Super Tuesday Candidate for Technology? 549

Petey_Alchemist writes "With Super Tuesday coming up and the political field somewhat winnowed down, the process of picking the nominees for the next American President is well underway. At the same time, the Internet is bustling through a period of legal questions like Copyright infringement, net neutrality, wireless spectrum, content filtering, broadband deployment. All of these are just a few of the host of issues that the next President will be pressured to weigh in on during his or her tenure. Who do you think would be the best (or worst) candidate on Internet issues?"
Spam

Ron Paul Spam Traced to Reactor Botnet 506

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? writes "Ars is reporting that the Ron Paul spam has been traced back to the Reactor botnet. According to the SecureWorks report, which originally identified the spammer, someone calling themselves nenastnyj was behind it and their botnet control server has been shut down. The Ron Paul campaign has previously denied any connection with this spam campaign."
Government

UN Says Tasers Are a Form of Torture 816

The use of Tasers "causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture," the UN's Committee Against Torture said. "In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events." Three men — all in their early 20s — died from after tasering in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being tasered by Canadian police. There have been 17 deaths in Canada following the use of Tasers since they were approved for use, and 275 deaths in the US. "According to Amnesty International, coroners have listed the Taser jolt as a contributing factor in more than 30 of those deaths."

Canada Rejects Anti-Terror Laws 507

Coryoth writes "The Canadian parliament has voted against renewing anti-terror laws that had been introduced after September 11, 2001. The rejected laws included provisions to hold terror suspects indefinitely, and to compel witnesses to testify, and were in some sense Canada's version fo the Patriot Act. The laws were voted down in the face of claims from the minority Conservative government that the Liberal Party was soft on terror, and despite the fact that Canada has faced active terrorist cells in their own country. The anti-terror laws have never been used, and it was viewed that they are neither relevant, nor needed, in dealing with terrorist plots. Hopefully more countries will come to the same conclusion."

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