Everyone knows the song “Happy  Birthday to You“–the Guinness Book of World Records says it’s the most  recognized song in English. Most of us sing it several times a year, for free.  So it may surprise you that Warner  Chappel music owns the rights to the song and charges  thousands of dollars for its use in public. They make $2 million a year  in royalties from TV shows and filmmakers. But now WFMU and the Free Music Archive are trying  to set birthdays to music anew, for free.

The  Birthday Song Contest seeks a few new Happy Birthday songs that are  simple and catchy, with great earworm potential that can be sung in restaurants,  bowling alleys, and even in TV shows and movies – free of charge.

Read more: Lauging Squid