Robert Brauneis

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Robert F. Brauneis
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Cruz B.A., Harvard Law School J.D.
OccupationLaw professor
Known forIntellectual property law scholar
WebsitePersonal Website

Robert F. Brauneis is a professor of intellectual property law at the George Washington University Law School.


Brauneis received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1982,[1] and a J.D., magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1989.[2][1] He then served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen Breyer of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and then to Justice David Souter of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1992 to 1993.[2] Between his clerkships, he worked as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the city of Chicago.[3] In August 1994, he joined the faculty of George Washington University Law School.

He is most noted for his article, Copyright and the World's Most Popular Song,[4] which provided the evidence used to determine that the longstanding claim to copyright ownership of the song, Happy Birthday to You, was invalid.[5][6][7][8][9] Brauneis has also published many other articles, and contributed to the authorship of several books.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The George Washington University Law School, 2013–2014 Law School Bulletin (August 7, 2013), p. 150.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, John L. (October 28, 1992). "HLS Grads Garner Most Posts; Supreme Court Chooses Highest Number From Harvard". Harvard Crimson.
  3. ^ Grady, William; Crawford, Bill; O'Brien, John (May 12, 1992). "Reinventing The Wheels Of Justice". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Brauneis, Robert (2010). "Copyright and the World's Most Popular Song". GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1111624. SSRN 1111624.
  5. ^ Mai-Duc, Christine (September 22, 2015). "All the 'Happy Birthday' song copyright claims are invalid, federal judge rules". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Miller, Michael E. (July 29, 2015). "Surprise! You may soon be able to sing 'Happy Birthday' on film without being sued". Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Miller, Michael E. (September 23, 2015). "'Happy birthday' to all of us: Judge gives world a gift, says song belongs to everyone". Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (June 13, 2013). "Birthday Song's Copyright Leads to a Lawsuit for the Ages". New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Sisario, Ben (August 4, 2015). "An Old Songbook Could Put 'Happy Birthday' in the Public Domain". New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2018.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Brauneis, Robert; Schechter, Roger (2012). Copyright: A Contemporary Approach. Interactive Casebook Series. St. Paul, MN: West Academic Publishing ISBN 1683285557
  • Brauneis, Robert (1996). "The Foundation of our 'Regulatory Takings' Jurisprudence: The Myth and Meaning of Justice Holmes' Opinion in Pennsylvania Coal v. Mahon." Yale Law Journal 106: 613–702. (JSTOR access).

External links[edit]