Who Owns “Happy Birthday”? (And Why That’s A Problem)

birthday-bear

“Happy Birthday” generates an estimated $2 million each year in licensing fees for Warner/Chappell, largely from television and movie producers, and it’s not currently set to lose copyright protection until 2030. Avoiding these fees is why restaurant chains like Red Robin and Joe’s Crab Shack serenade customers with their own unique birthday songs.

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How Publishing Is Failing Science

science-publishing

“Peer review is failing to ensure the quality of published research, and new research fails to get into the hands of those who need it, ending up behind journal paywalls after a review process that can take more than year.”

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Why Is The Vienna Philharmonic So Slow To Change?

vienna-philharmonic

Sixteen years after the Philharmonic became one of the last big European orchestras to admit women, they are still an exotic sight onstage. Despite a blind audition policy, in which candidates are not visible when they play, the orchestra currently has just seven female members out of 130 total.

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Boston Museum of Fine Arts Director Steps Down

Boston MFA Rogers

“Museum of Fine Arts director Malcolm Rogers, whose 19-year tenure has been marked by massive growth and a slate of exhibitions both popular and controversial, announced Thursday night he will retire as soon as a successor is hired to run the region’s largest art museum.”

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Well, They Won’t Be Shutting Down the Rome Opera Just Yet

Rome Opera

“Threats of a strike at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, which would have prevented Thursday’s opening night performance of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and damaged the company’s account books, were averted at the last minute.” The theater’s finances are so bad that Rome’s Mayor has been saying that a strike could force the company to close its doors.

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The Most Unlikeable Hero in Children’s Literature

unlikeable hero

Laura Miller: “So she’s kind of creepy and something of a hypocrite. She may be the most unlikable hero in any children’s book, yet children, by the millions, insist on liking her. What’s [her] appeal?” (Miller includes in passing quite a pithy little takedown of Jonathan Franzen.)

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Mothers, Sons, AIDS, Terrence McNally, and What a Difference 25 Years Make

Terrence McNally

McNally’s 1988 play Andre’s Mother is a cry of rage and pain by a man who just buried his lover at his lover’s ever-disapproving mother. His new Broadway outing, Mothers and Sons, “dramatize[s] the head-spinning changes in gay America since that earlier play, affecting not only same-sex couples but also people like [that still-disapproving mother].”

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Top Posts From AJBlogs 02.27.14

Scorning the Great American Novel, and Assessing Beck
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-02-28

Fundraising Tactic Worked!
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-02-27

Corcoran Confusion: Bungled Rollout of Its “Wonderful News”
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-02-27

Minimum Viable Product
AJBlog: The Artful Manager | Published 2014-02-27

Droit de suite
AJBlog: For What it’s Worth | Published 2014-02-27

 

Revitalizing Alvin Ailey (How Do You Make It Work?)

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“Here was a company of astonishing dancers who continually circled the globe. But their repertoire did not always live up to their talent and range. The quandary? How do you maintain the Ailey’s identity, yet at the same time grow with the art form? How do you balance both the racial and “post-racial” nature of the world in dance terms?”

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Dying Art: Greece’s Last Movie Poster Painter

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“When silent films took off in the 1920s, Hollywood studios employed graphic designers to convey the glamour and excitement of new releases, and handmade billboards came to adorn theaters around the world. The rise of the automobile helped spur a booming industry of painted highway billboards across America, Europe, Africa and in Asia. But in an era of mass-produced printing, the practice has been all but snuffed out.”

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Injured ‘Spider-Man’ Dancer Discusses His Lawsuit

Spider-Man lawsuit

“It was a stunt that Daniel Curry had performed many times before in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark: Plant himself firmly on a hydraulic lift in the pit beneath the stage, then remain steady as he rose a dozen feet to emerge for the start of Act II. … Then, in a split second, something solid pressed down against his right foot, then crushed it.”

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Paco de Lucía, 66, Master of Flamenco Guitar

Paco de Lucia

He first became famous in the 1960s and ’70s, revitalizing flamenco music through his partnership with singer Camarón de la Isla. He went on to attract new fans by blending flamenco with jazz and Latin American music, and he was ultimately recognized as one of the world’s greatest guitarists.

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