COPYRIGHTS: Cake, Candles Not Included

Cake, Candles Not Included

FOR SALE: classic ditty; owned by the same family for 53 years; original condition; used only on special occasions.

Yes, the song Happy Birthday to You! is on the block. While the tune may seem like public property, it is one of some 50,000 copyrighted songs owned by the Birch Tree Group music-publishing company of Princeton, N.J. The company's longtime owners, the Sengstack family, are putting it up for sale at an asking price of at least $12 million.

Two Kentucky kindergarten teachers, Mildred and Patty Hill, published Happy Birthday in 1893 as Good Morning to All and later added the...

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