I haven't gigged in quite a while, but I remember that at least a couple times each year, we'd get asked to play happy birthday. So we'd look around in fear to see if anyone in the pub was sitting alone, nursing a beer and writing down our setlist... and then we'd shrug and smile politely at the birthday guy/gal and play about 20 seconds of a happy-birthday-like intro and then segue into Swing42 or something with a similar vibe.
Well... if that's what you've also been doing... it looks like now when you're asked to play happy birthday, evidently you can say: "Yes, absolutely!" and do a proper job of it. It turns out that none of the SOBs harassing live musicians over playing that song actually held a valid right to do so.http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-happy-birthday-song-lawsuit-decision-20150922-story.htmlhttps://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/09/happy-birthday-everybody-victory-public-domain-asterisk
You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.