Since 1988, Warner/Chappell has had an iron grip on the copyright for "Happy Birthday to You." Artists couldn't sing it on a recording without paying up, even though it's virtually ubiquitous in real life -- it's widely considered the most popular English-language song in history. At last, though, logic appears to be taking hold. In the wake of a lengthy class action lawsuit, Warner has agreed to a $14 million settlement that will put "Happy Birthday" in the US public domain well ahead of 2030, when the label expected the copyright to run out. So long as the ruling holds, you can expect to hear those very familiar strains all over music, movies and TV shows in the near future.