Contest seeks a copyright-free alternative to ‘Happy Birthday’

Forget blowing out the candles, songwriters. Focus on blowing away the competition. Plus, ridiculous McDonald’s Yelp reviews, an inspired synopsis of ‘Les Mis,’ Psy retires ‘Gangnam Style,’ funny hangover ads, and more.

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If you ask me, “Happy Birthday” might be one of the greatest songs ever composed. Not only are the lyrics simple and customizable, but the song also ensures that we wash our hands for an adequate amount of time (hummed twice from beginning to end, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). That sets the bar high for songwriters interested in entering a new contest by WFMU and the Free Music Archive to find a copyright-free substitute—licensed under Creative Commons—to the mundane birthday ditty. Submissions are due Jan. 13.

Social Media Today suggests we find a substitute for the word “influential”—in fact, the website wants us to banish it from our vernacular, particularly when we mean “popular” instead. According to Douglas Karr: “Popular people or brands have a lot of people that like them. Influential people or brands have people who trust them.”

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