Warner/Chappell Music

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Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., is an American music publishing company and a division of the Warner Music Group.


The company traces its origins back to 1811 and the founding of Chappell & Company, a British music publishing company and instrument shop that specialized in piano manufacturing on London’s Bond Street.[1] In 1929, Warner Bros. acquired M. Witmark & Sons, Remick Music Corporation and Harms, Inc.[2] Tamerlane Music was acquired in 1969.[3]

Warner/Chappell was formed in 1987 in San Antonio, Texas, when Warner Bros. Music Chairman Chuck Kaye led the company to purchase Chappell & Co. from PolyGram.[4] It was ranked in 2010 by Music & Copyright as the world’s third-largest music publisher[5] with a catalog of more than one million songs and a roster of more than 65,000 songwriters.[6] Among the songs in the company's library are "Winter Wonderland" and formerly "Happy Birthday to You" until the copyright of the song was invalidated in 2015 and put in the public domain the next year.[7]

In 2005, Warner/Chappell sold most of its printed music division, Warner Bros. Publications, to Alfred Publishing,[8] and in 2006 launched the Pan European Digital Licensing (P.E.D.L.) initiative. In 2007, when Radiohead released In Rainbows through its website on a pay-what-you-wish model, Warner/Chappell created a streamlined, one-of-a-kind licensing process for the songs on the album[9] that allowed rights users around the world to secure use of the music from a single location.[10]

In 2007, the company acquired Non-Stop Music.[11] Additionally, in 2010 it acquired 615 Music, a Nashville-based production music company,[12] and subsequently united all the production music companies under the name Warner/Chappell Production Music in 2012.[13] In 2011, it acquired Southside Independent Music Publishing, whose songwriters included Bruno Mars, Brody Brown, and J.R. Rotem.[14]

On June 30, 2017, Warner/Chappell filed a lawsuit against EMI Music Publishing, accusing the latter company of underpaying Warner Music for the royalties of the 20th Century Fox catalogue, which Warner acquired in 1982, as well as the rights to Curtis Mayfield and Kool and the Gang. This controversy arises from EMI's acquisition of Robbins and Feist in the early 1990s.[15]

Licensing controversy

On February 27, 2015, Warner/Chappell made headlines in Australia where it had a YouTube video from Mike Baird, the Premier of New South Wales, removed because it contained two songs in the background ("Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. and "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift) for which Premier Baird had not obtained the license from Warner/Chappell Music.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Tim Arango. "Scratching Under the Vinyl Era". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  2. ^ Spring, Katherine (2013-11-01). Saying It With Songs: Popular Music and the Coming of Sound to Hollywood Cinema. OUP USA. ISBN 9780199842223. 
  3. ^ "Warner Chappell Music, Inc". www.fairness.com. Retrieved 2016-05-08. 
  4. ^ "Warner Music Group | Timeline". Wmg.com. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  5. ^ Music & Copyright, April 21, 2010
  6. ^ "Warner/Chappell Music - HISTORY". Warnerchappell.com. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  7. ^ "'Happy Birthday' copyright invalidated by judge". New York Times. 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2015-09-23. 
  8. ^ "Annual Report for the period ending September 30, 2006". Sec.gov. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  9. ^ "Investor Center - News and Advice from DailyFinance". Bloggingstocks.com. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  10. ^ "Music Week". Music Week. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  11. ^ "Warner Music Group - Investor Relations - News Release". Investors.wmg.com. 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  12. ^ "Warner/Chappell Music Acquires Renowned Production Music Company 615 Music". Studio Daily. 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  13. ^ "Warner/Chappel Unites Production Companies, Launches New Website". Billboard. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  14. ^ "Warner Music Group | News". Wmg.com. Retrieved 2014-03-11. 
  15. ^ https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/amp/thr-esq/warner-chappell-says-emi-is-underpaying-royalties-new-lawsuit-1018382
  16. ^ "Mike Baird's attempt at being funny backfires". News Corp Australia. February 27, 2015. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
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