$4.8M Fee Bid Stalls 'Happy Birthday' Public Domain Debut

By Bonnie Eslinger (June 27, 2016, 9:24 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge Monday said he would give final approval to a settlement putting "Happy Birthday" into the public domain, but held off so Warner/Chappell Music Inc. can bolster their opposition to a $4.62 million fee request from the copyright class action's prevailing attorneys.

U.S. District Judge George H. King said at a hearing on Monday that he was satisfied the $14 million settlement is appropriate for approval as being "fair, reasonable and adequate." The judge, however, said he wanted to give Warner/Chappell a chance to offer a more "robust" response to the attorneys' fees request in light of a...

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