Meaning...as I reported, we can all feel free to freely sing “Happy Birthday” without paying a fee, but not so for “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.”
Before we open our carolers’ mouths to launch into a rendition, we’d better check to learn who’s listening in, or the copyright cops might show up at your door with little credit card gadgets and charge you! (Really, I just made that up. I have no idea how owners of copyrights like this one collect fees from people singing holiday songs privately, in the bosom of their families.)
Songwriter’s Heirs Reclaim Rights to Holiday Classic
Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press
You’d better watch out: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” is comin’ back into the hands of the daughter and grandchildren of John Frederick Coots, who co-wrote the song in 1933 with James Lamont “Haven” Gillespie.