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Battle for birthday song

捍卫我们的生日歌

中文 英文 双语 2015-08-24    来源:21mr007娱乐原创      阅读数:97101
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导读:《祝你生日快乐》和生日蛋糕一样几乎是生日派对的标准装备。不过你不知道的是这首全世界传唱最广的歌曲却是一家公司的私有财产。为了捍卫大家共同的生日歌,一群独立艺术家将该公司告上了法庭。
It is perhaps the most performed song in the world. A birthday party wouldn’t be complete without participants joyously belting out the song around a big birthday cake. Yet “Happy Birthday to You” is private property and protected by copyright.
这也许是世界上被传唱最多的歌曲。一场生日派对不可缺少的环节就是大家一起高兴地围着大蛋糕唱生日歌。但是《祝你生日快乐》这首歌却是受到版权保护的私有财产。
It is fine if you sing it by yourself. But if someone wants to do it in movies or TV shows or in any other commercial activities, they need to pay the Warner Music Group for the right. According to a forbes.com report, “Happy Birthday to You” is believed to be netting the company $2 million (12.8 million yuan) a year in fees.
当然如果你自己唱是完全没有问题的。不过如果有人想在电影、电视剧或者其他任何商业活动中使用这首歌,那么他们就得付给华纳唱片版权费了。据福布斯网站报道,《祝你生日快乐》每年能为该公司净赚200万美元(1280万人民币)的版权费。
But this strange situation could soon be changed. According to an Aug 4 New York Times story, a class action lawsuit has been filed by a group of independent artists. Lawyers in the case said they had found evidence in the pages of a nearly century-old songbook that proves the song’s copyright –first issued in 1935–is no longer valid.
不过这种不合理的状况可能很快就会改变。8月4日的《纽约时报》刊文说,一群独立艺术家对生日歌版权归属问题提起了集体诉讼。参与案件的律师说,他们在一本近一百年前出版的歌曲集中发现了证据可以证明该歌版权始于1935年,这就意味着它早已过了版权保护的时效期。
A federal judge may rule in the case in coming weeks, reported The New York Times.
《纽约时报》还透露,未来几周联邦法官将对案件做出裁定。
If the song became part of the public domain, then the Warner Music Group would lose millions of dollars in licensing fees in the future. It would also be a victory for those who see the song as highlighting the problems with copyright. These people think it is unfair that Happy Birthday to You has long since survived anyone involved in its creation, but is still owned by a corporation that charges for its use.
如果该歌没有了版权保护,那么未来华纳唱片将会损失上百万美元的版权费。还有人认为这首歌突出了版权争议问题,原告的胜诉对他们言是一场胜利。他们觉得这首歌的作者早已过世,而现在这首歌却被一家公司独占并收取使用费,这是不公平的。
Part of the dispute stems from the song’s complicated history.
版权争议的部分原因是该歌复杂的历史。
Two sisters in the US, Mildred and Patty Hill, first published the song in 1893 as “Good Morning to All”, but its lyrics changed in the years that followed, and the first copyright for “Happy Birthday to You” wasn’t filed until 1935. The song changed hands over the years. Warner Music Group has owned the rights to the song since 1988.
1891年,一对美国姐妹——米尔德里德(Mildred)和帕蒂•希尔(Patty Hill)最先发行了这首歌,那时它叫《大家早上好》,之后这首歌的歌词改了,《祝你生日快乐》直到1935年才申请版权。多年来,这首歌几经转手,直到1988年华纳唱片才拥有了它的版权。
In the lawsuit, plaintiffs claim the song’s origins date back to 1922, The New York Times reported. Copyright has expired for all works published in the US before 1923.
据《纽约时报》报道,该案的原告宣称歌曲的起源可以追溯到1922年。而在美国1923年之前的所有作品的版权都已失效。
A 1922 songbook was submitted as evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claim. A song titled Good Morning and Birthday Song in the songbook has its third verse featuring both the familiar melody and lyrics.
原告呈上了一本出版于1922年的歌曲集作为证据。书中一首名为《早上好和生日歌》的歌曲的第三节和《祝你生日快乐》的旋律、歌词十分相似。
Warner lawyers, on the other hand, argue that, “while earlier versions of the birthday song may have been published, they were not authorized by the [Hill] sisters themselves,” The New York Times reported.
据《纽约时报》报道,华纳唱片的律师认为:“尽管早前版本的生日歌可能已经发行过,但它们没有获得希尔姐妹的授权。”
In the music industry, the question of who owns the rights to a song can be worth millions of dollars. A court’s interpretation of copyright law can greatly influence the industry. That was the case in March, when a jury found that pop star Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” had copied “Got to Give It Up”, a 1977 hit by Marvin Gaye, and awarded $7.3 million to Gaye’s family, according to media reports. A careful comparison of the two works shows the former borrows some elements from the latter’s melody and rhythm. Critics of the verdict say it will stifle creations that might be inspired by something else.
在音乐界,歌曲的版权可是价值连城的。法庭对版权法的解释会对音乐界造成巨大影响。例如今年三月的一个案件,据媒体报道,陪审团发现流行歌手罗宾•西克(Robin Thicke)的歌《模糊的界线》(Blurred Lines)抄袭了马文•盖伊(Marvin Gaye)1977发行的热门歌曲《不得不放弃》(Got to Give It Up),于是判给了盖伊的家人730万美元的赔偿金。仔细比较可以发现,前者确实借用了后者的某些旋律和韵律。不过批评者认为这样的判决会阻碍人们从现有作品获得灵感进行新的创作。
21mr007娱乐站版权说明  (Translator & Editor: Zhang Qiong AND Lang Xiuqiang)


以上文章内容选自《21世纪英文报》,详情请见《21世纪英文报》1117期
辞海拾贝
Property财产 Lawsuit诉讼
Domain领域 Lyric歌词
Plaintiff原告 Origin起源
Expire过期 Verse诗歌等的章节
Authorize授权 Melody旋律
Rhythm韵律 Verdict判决
Stifle抑制 


 
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