tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC September 23, 2015 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes. moments ago, pope francis returned from the vatican's diplomatic residence in washington, d.c. after a truly historic day. earlier, the pope gave his first speech on u.s. soil weighing in pointedly on matters of the political debates and the 2016 campaign. immigration and climate change most notably. the pope not only endorsing the president's environmental policies specifically, but urging immediate action. it all took place in the nation's capital the first stop in the three-city tour of america. thousands of well-wishers hoping to catch a glimpse of pope francis and his little black hatch back fiat. greeted before heading to a welcome ceremony on the south lawn. the president and the pope speaking before a crowd of dignitaries, politicians,
ordinary citizens and emphasized areas of shared agreement. mr. obama commending pope francis for his advocacy on behalf of refugees and immigrants. >> you mind us that the lord's most powerful message is mercy. that means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open heart. from the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life. >> the pope drawing high praise for addressing the crowd in english, describing himself as a son of immigrants, recognizing the u.s. as a nation of immigrants. but it was the subject of climate change that francis devoted more time to than any other subject. commending the president specifically for his actions on reducing air pollution and calling for a broader, more urgent response. >> mr. president, i am finding
it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. when it comes to -- coming home, we are living at a critical moment of history. >> following a crowd-pleasing wave on a white house balcony, he met privately with the president. 300 american bishops dressed in traditional garb gathering to hear the message where he told them that abuse at the hands of clergy must not be repeated and encouraged church leaders to welcome immigrants. late this afternoon, another milestone, the first cannonization on u.s. soil as he performed a mass that drew tens of thousands of worshippers. as francis toward the streets of d.c., a little girl managed to get past the security barrier,
you see her right there. she was later identified as 5-year-old sophie cruz, the american-born daughter of undocumented mexican immigrants. police officers, at first, tried to lead her away. but then pope francis called her over to him recalling the gospel of matthew in which jesus says, let the children come to me. and lifting the little girl up to greet the pope, sophie in d.c., handed francis a t-shirt and letter, asking the pope to encourage u.s. lawmakers to pass immigration reform. later recited her message to the holy father. >> pope francis, i want to tell you that my heart is sad and i would like to ask you to speak with the president and the congress in legalizing my parents. every day i am scared one day they will take them away from me. >> joining me now luis gutierrez of illinois. do you expect any moments from your catholic colleagues after the pope's pronouncements on
these matters? >> actually, i'm -- i'm eternally, obviously, optimistic and hopeful, especially after today because -- chris, i have to tell you that i felt i could not answer sufficiently the charge. that has been placed against our immigrant community, and particularly, our latino community. because i could not give the kind of solace and solidarity that was -- that our community really needed. it felt so much under attack. and this man comes because we're proud of him. right? we're so proud of him. and through his example and through his words, without directly confronting anybody or speaking anybody. but through his actions and through speaking the gospel, as a leader of our church and as a leader in the world to set the record straight. look, a lot of people were kind
of surprised, right? they said, oh, mostly latinos. the church is 52%, 53% latino, the catholic church. and it's the only part of the catholic church that is growing in the latino community. and so, nobody should be surprised. yes, the white house, today it was a wonderful activity. but when you walked out, you saw our community, and that little girl is an expression of the needs of our community, of our families and our needs. so, look, you can -- you want to argue climate change? i don't. it's happening. we need global warming is going on. i'm at many times at so difficult, as i am challenged by my church. as i find it difficult with the teachings of the church when it comes to women's reproductive rights and the rights of the lgbt community. but can you really argue welcoming the stranger? can you really argue challenging
society to do better for the poor? can you challenge someone who says instead of building walls, we should build bridges and we should have compassion and be caring and love our neighbor as you love -- i don't know how you argue that. and that gives me hope. >> it's interesting, you note that those teachings, the welcoming of the stranger. this is something -- a lot of focus on this pope and how he has shifted the emphasis on the papacy from his predecessor. but this is something, broad continuity in the catholic church. and the catholic church here in the u.s. i remember being in a church basement in your native chicago on may 1st, 2006, the day of the largest mass protest we'd seen since the iraq war in support of immigration reform, against criminalizing of immigrants. and those are organized in church basements. polish folks, and irish folks.
so the church has been a bedrock of this movement for immigration reform for a while, hasn't it? >> it has been. and i believe this pope is going to challenge my church to do even better. to find even more spanish language priests and more spanish language bishops. the church still has to expand its ability to communicate to our community and to allow latinos to emerge so that over half of the church in terms of the population, that we're more reflective in its leadership. and that's why this is so critical at this particular moment. he leads by example. reminds me of a parish priest than a theologian at the vatican. someone you go to in times of need. when my mom and dad came in 1952 from puerto rico and they weren't welcome in new york city. it was said about puerto ricans
that we came as criminal element, to get on welfare and all these things were sad about my mom and dad. even then, chris, the church was the first one to offer them. the first place, the only institution that was really responding to their needs. but now we have this leader of our church across the world coming and responding. >> great thank you, very much. appreciate that. >> thanks. >> a little girl who gave pope francis a letter lives in los angeles, california, and her letter, she described her home as en el corazon, home of agriculture. our own jacob soberoff traveled there to hear from them firsthand. >> as a native californian, you get used to driving up the 5 freeway i'm at right now in the middle of the most productive agricultural land in the entire world and seeing what i see here, almost absolutely nothing.
no big red barns, no farmhouses, no cute farm stands on the side of the road. and that is because we are in the center of industrial agriculture in the whole world. hidden in plain sight are thousands and thousands of workers, many of them are undocumented that live in towns like the one i'm driving to right now. >> what is this place? >> it's a marketplace. farm workers come and get their burritos here, beers here. a lot of them get their checks today. >> come in, maybe cash a check. >> they do. >> a lot of folks are undocumented, so they don't have access to a bank so they rely on these local markets that charge them about 10%. >> who is working today? everybody is working today on sunday? >> all week long, they work 12 hours. sundays, this is the only entertainment they have. >> he said if the job was easy, american people would be doing that job.
who's catholic? todos? do you think the pope cares about you guys? >> of course. >> yeah. >> speaks spanish? yeah. what do you want to hear him talk about? [ speaking spanish ] >> to tell trump to calm down. not everybody's a terrorist. >> basically the workers are industrial workers. they work in the trailers, the factory is this right here, the fields. essentially, a company town. hola, buenas tardes. she says her room doesn't fit more icons, otherwise she would put more up. the pope is coming to the united states, are you going to be watching on television? or coming to see what he says? >> luckily, they'll let us have radio at work, we'll be listening to what he says on the
radio and then come back from work and we'll be watching him on tv. >> what do you hope he says? the pope this week? >> she hopes the pope brings a message of family unity and hopes he encourages congress to act on immigration reform so she cannot only help herself but her parents in mexico. >> what do you hope for your kids? >> one of her biggest dreams is to some day collect enough money to purchase a house of her own and to legalize herself and her kids. >> that was jacob soberoff on assignment for us. michael ware was at the festivities today. michael, it was quite a scene there. i was watching the sort of social media tweets come in,
watching it live. and you had everyone there in this sort of incredible anticipation, everyone from rick warren to black pastors from the south to members of congress. what was the scene like? >> it was almost eerily reverent. it was a unique time. i've been on the south lawn before for state arrival ceremonies and other events. but this is a pope who gets a serious engagement from everyone who encounters him. there were no eye rolls on the south lawn today. the pope brought a spiritual message that had profound moral and political implications. and folks were attentive. wanted to hear what he had to say. not just about sort of, the state of -- the state of play or the state of various aspects of policy, but really, the state of our souls. how is our nation doing?
and that openness, that sense of reverence was evident. >> you know, it's funny you say that. i've been noting that both in the -- people's response in the coverage, the sort of reverence. and at one level, it doesn't make a lot of sense. if you're not catholic, there's lots of religious figures, and if they -- a very holy imam came and told me what he thought about climate change, if i agree with it, great, if not -- what does it matter? why does it matter for folks that are not in the church? >> well, i'll tell you. one more direct, i think, political and social statements that the pope has really been making throughout his time. but it was evident on the south lawn today. was sort of the abrasive inclusion and rejection of the political paradigms and paradoxes that we have here in america. so the paradox that we would have millions of people living
under a system in and under a system that ignores them. the paradox that the same god who gave us stewardship over the environment would for some reason leave us helpless to face one of the biggest challenges it's facing. the paradox that or the false choice between fighting discrimination. the pope said, no. this project of improving our society of loving our neighbor, it's a project for all of humanity. it's a call on our common humanity. and i think people respond to that. people respond to someone who is coming, the pope didn't pretend that he wasn't the head of the catholic church or that, you know, his beliefs didn't come from scripture and catholic social teaching, obviously, and because he's so honest about the core of his convictions. but then, open in the expression of those people, people don't feel manipulated.
they feel welcomed in and engaged as they are. >> i think part of that. that's well said. i think part of it is, politics sometimes has a way of making big issues seem very small. and the politics can zoom us into things that feel very removed from the big questions. whatever your faith or lack of faith, your committed atheism, just to think about the big issues, it's been wonderful in that respect. >> thanks. >> the main selling point has been that he will win for america. what happens if he starts to stop winning? plus, why are conservatives pointing to hillary clinton? hillary clinton has the original birther. we'll chase the birther movement. and later, happy birthday is free from its copyright. and the woman that won that lawsuit to talk what this could mean for copyright laws and
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i say god is the ultimate. you look at this. here we are in the pacific ocean. how did i own this? i bought it 15 years ago, made one of the greatest deals ever they say with this piece of land. no mortgage on it. i'll certify and represent to you. >> we'll see that. >> and i was able to, you know, buy this and make a great deal. that's what i want to do for the country. make great deals. we have to bring it back. but god is the ultimate. god created this. and, you know, here's the pacific ocean right behind us. nobody, no thing, there's nothing like god. >> just in time for the visit of pope francis, a profound
spiritual meditation from republican front-runner, donald j. trump who has been working on outreach to evangelical voters. bringing a copy to show off to the coalition last weekend. >> brought my bible. see? i'm better than you thought. you see? i also brought my confirmation picture. because nobody can believe it. nobody believes this. >> yesterday we showed you this chart of republican candidate polling averages which suggests trump that top line in red may have already hit a ceiling and started to decline. a new fox news poll has him holding steady for the last month and a half. but if things are starting to turn, it poses a unique problem for donald trump. his campaign has become about how his campaign is winning. and there's a fine line between the swaggering bluster of a front-runner, which in trump's case has been pretty entertaining and the desperate flailing of a candidate in tail
spin. last night, trump was on twitter again hurling insults and restarting his war on fox news host megan kelly. ever notice that lightweight meghan kelly goes after me, but when i hit back, it's totally sexist. she is highly overrated, exclamation point. this morning, things escalated even further with trump tweeting around noon, fox news has been treating me very unfairly and i therefore decided i won't be doing any more fox shows for the foreseeable future. the network fired back a statement at 11:45 a.m. today. we canceled donald trump's scheduled appearance on thursday which resulted in his tweet about his boycott on fox news. when coverage doesn't go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. doesn't seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask. making a couple stops in south carolina where he touted the benefits of his own popularity.
>> the good thing is you lose a lot of weight doing this. the rooms aren't meant for that many people. so it becomes hotter and hotter, it's like a steam bath. and you lose weight. it's a he will, l of a way to lose weight. i'll tell you that. while the other candidates don't lose weight. you know why? nobody goes to watch them. >> probably didn't lose too many pounds at that particular event where the whole back of the room was close to empty. joining us now, katy tur live. let me start with you, you had an interesting exchange with donald trump about precisely this. you asked him about what it would mean, what it might mean if his poll numbers start to go down. take a listen, i want folks to take a listen. they don't have me down. excuse me, excuse me, who is in first place? >> it's the first time you've been down. >> except the nbc poll. you know the amazing thing is?
so nbc, for which you work, does the poll. it's a very good poll, i'm at 29, cnn does a poll, i'm at 24. both in first place. >> this entire time, it's the first time you've been down. are you concerned? >> no, i'm not concerned. >> you have been covering him now for a long time. does it feel on the ground like the kind of frenetic energy of the trump bubble, the air is starting to come out of that? >> reporter: it has moments of feeling that way. i would say today is not necessarily one of those moments here in columbia, south carolina. he came in with quite a substantial entourage. just seems to be getting bigger every time he goes out on the trail. but i'll say this, he canceled two press avails last week and canceled -- the debate. and an event right after the muslim comment controversy. and that is very unusual for him. he'd been like a moth to a flame
for every time he would see a camera. want to talk to reporters and the press availabilities would go on and on and on. now, not only cancelling them, they come off as very short, answers a few questions and he stops, controls himself and then leaves. i think that is two things. one is that maybe the campaign does seem to be getting a little bit more nervous. and you can tell there was something going on with this last cnn poll. it is the first one that's shown him go down. i also talked to gop insiders who said they thought the campaign was suddenly nervous for the first time before the debate. you can also look at it this way they're finally clamping down and treating him like a front-runner and making himself treat himself like a front runner. they're saying you need to be more controlled and they're trying to keep him from as much controversy as they can. it's donald trump, though, he's going to say what he wants, make headlines, and part of the campaign is to create controversy and make news and say outrageous things. but certainly with the questioner in that town hall, that did seem to take the campaign by surprise.
they said ultimately it was a business deal that had been delayed and that's why he canceled the event. but there were a lot of people out there, critics and sources who told some reporters this was not true. and they were trying to keep him out of the spotlight to potentially make the impact of that gaffe a little bit less. then, again, he's come out and talked about the birtherism much more since that. he told colbert last night he doesn't want to talk about it. but hours after the taping, he was tweeting about hillary clinton and brought that up again today saying she was the original birther. >> charlie, what do you think this looks like in decline? it strikes me that any campaign is going to have up and down moments, even successful ones. this seems a campaign uniquely unprepared to deal with down moments. >> well, first of all, let's all agree there's nothing like god. there just is nothing like god. if he's going to keep quoting from thomas, i'm going to be impressed by him. look, right now donald trump is
the dog that caught the car. >> right. >> now he's in first place, now he's being treated like a serious politician. and he doesn't know how to handle it. as long as he's above 20%, though, in a 13 or 14-person field, he's doing just fine. >> that's the point. this goes to the scott walker, upon his exit, stage right. you know, as long as the field is as big as it is, 25% is going to look like the front-runner for a long time to come, right, charlie? >> well, he will be the front-runner for a long time to come. 20% to 25% in a 14-person field with four of them, you know, essentially owing the pollsters points because they're in negative numbers somehow. that's a landslide in a crowded field, especially in a caucus situation. >> last night on colbert, we'll
play a clip of that ahead. the phrase that came to mind was a phrase he's used before to describe jeb bush, low energy. and i wonder if the rigors and demands of running for president, which seems grueling. i don't know, is the guy prepared for it? if he's going to have to keep doing this, can he do it? >> reporter: i don't know. i mean, he does have a unique advantage out there. he has his own jet. when he comes in to do these campaign stops, he's not driving in a bus from place to place, either taking a helicopter or limousine. he's flying home every night and sleeping in his bed every night. that adds to his ability to stay out in the field. the other candidates are taking commercial flights. slogging through airports. i'm slogging through airports to keep up with them. it's an exhausting endeavor, and i'm a good 30 years younger than he is. will he be able to maintain
this? i think ultimately he will. there's been older candidates who don't have his resources. the question is. is he going to get bored by it? >> that's what i mean. >> he is, his ego at this moment, he's winning. i don't see him getting bored unless he starts to plummet in the polls. but as the last gentleman was saying, 25% in a crowded field is a lot. and that can get him over the hump. and if we keep maintaining the number of people in this field, other than the fact that walker dropped out instead of perry, that's a lot of people. he could easily go past new hampshire and still be, you know, still have wind in his sails to move forward. >> charlie, your prediction, does he make it to iowa? that's my big question. like, does this whole thing, basically, flame out as spectacularly as it started? or is he actually on the ballot in florida? in iowa and new hampshire? >> oh, i think he certainly makes it to iowa. and i can guarantee you what
he's going to say if the results go bad in iowa. he's going to say it's a stupid system. then he's going to go to new hampshire. >> and he'll have a little bit of truth on his side in that. up next, huge new polling numbers in the democratic presidential race for the man that is not as of yet even running. stay with us. at mfs investment management, we believe active management can protect capital long term. active management can tap global insights. active management can take calculated risks. active management can seek to outperform. because active investment management isn't reactive. it's active. that's the power of active management.
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greeted the pope when he landed yesterday. today, he was front and center when the pope spoke. and has plans to attend several of the holy father's events in the coming days. and as the vice president basks in his role as government's highest-ranking catholic, he continues to be at the center of endless speculation, much of it, i would say, stoked by his camp about whether or not he'll get into the presidential race. that speculation is growing as he continues to show strength in the polls with a chunk of support from democratic voters. shows the vice president with a support of 1 in 4 democrats just slightly ahead of bernie sanders, though, still behind hillary clinton. so, for those of you reading the biden tea leaves wondering will he or won't he, one detail caught our eye. according to an exclusive report from w.h.o.-13, vice president brought some very special guests to meet the pope. >> a source confirms to me that these two iowans, kevin mccarthy and terri goodman are in
washington, d.c. at this hour. we were told they were special guests to see pope francis today. here's where it gets interesting. both of these people are also the co-chairs of the draft biden iowa superpac movement. >> hmm, iowa, you say. the two have not commented on the trip. but if biden is trying to quiet rumors about a pending run for president, inviting two of his backers from the first caucus state is not going to do it. ...isn't it time to let the... ...real you shine... ...through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months. and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase... ...the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression...
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birthplace, going so far as to claim they cannot believe what they're finding. after a fed up president obama released his long form birth certificate in 2011 saying, quote, we do not have time for this kind of silliness. trump held a news conference. to this day, trump refuses to acknowledge the reality that the president was, indeed, born in the united states. he used to want credit for the birther movement, now he's pawning it off on hillary clinton. >> in 2008, she was the original birther. she's the one that started that whole thing. hillary is the one that started it. check it out. 2008. >> trump isn't the only republican presidential candidate or conservative making that claim. in july, ted cruz asserted the same thing when asked about being born in canada. >> people seem to have a problem with that. >> well, you know, it's interesting. the whole birther thing was started by the hillary clinton campaign in 2008 against barack obama.
and i recognize that there are folks online that like to push that issue. >> in a radio interview this morning, clinton was asked about her alleged birtherism as well as a claim that in 2007 she and obama had a heated confrontation over clinton allegedly circulating e-mails claiming obama was muslim. >> did you or your campaign start the whole birther thing? and did you -- >> that is so -- >> did you have a confrontation with the president? >> no, that is so ludicrous, don. you know, i just believe that -- first of all, it's totally untrue. and secondly, you know, the president and i have never had any kind of confrontation like that. >> now, when i was a reporter over at "the nation" in 2007, i reported this out. i took a long look at all the smear rumors circulating around barack obama, including one much forwarded e-mail accusing him of being a secret muslim. and i traced the claim to a 2004 press release by a lawsuit filer
who had gone to claim on fox news channel without evidence that obama had once trained to overthrow the government. the claim that the president was a cryptomuslim launched into birtherism, and to help us understand exactly how that happened and whether there's any connection to hillary clinton, i'm joined by david weigel. okay. the ted cruz claim, the trump claim, hillary's the original birther, she started it, that's not true, is it? >> it's not true, although it has taken up a lot of coinage on the right recently. i don't know when to date the shift. i think you can really look to 2011 when birtherism started to be an irritating problem for republican candidates led by trump, actually, that they started to say, well, hillary clinton is the one who started all the rumors about barack obama. she was a dirty politician. it's their fault, not ours. it's not how it worked.
i would recommend people go back and read the article. and also, differentiate between the types of articles. the idea he might have been a muslim, conspiracy theory, not true. was different than the argument he might not be born in america. conspiracy theory that had ha the possibility of disqualifying him from the presidential ballot. and i read from the post today, drawing on these articles, that grew up from super hard core unendorsed by hillary clinton, hillary clinton supporters who in the summer of 2008 wanted her to be the nominee. they decided it wasn't real. and that had a long life after those guys moved on. but those are two different theorys. one that barack obama was the kind of other one that he literally was not born here and can't be president. >> and just to be clear, first of all, it doesn't matter. let's say that hillary clinton was responsible, doesn't make it right. doesn't forgive other people for foisting this nonsense. it's bizarrely, it's -- it's a
bizarre defense to use to say, well, so and so started it. but second of all, let's be clear about the birther movement as a movement. i mean, you had, you know, you had official resolutions introduced in state houses, lawsuits, all of this was coming from the institutional grass roots of the republican party conservative movement. just to be very clear factually where this was coming from. >> yeah, to require more information, hint, hint, from future presidential candidates. there were no democrats signed on to such things. th, honestly, surprised me. i looked at birtherism in 2008 as a long, but not that long, tail of the hillary clinton dead-enders who wanted her to be the nominee. but i should say, i think you said something along the lines whether or not this happened, whatever happened, it's important that hillary clinton's campaign did not actually try to feed this. there is a staffer in iowa in december 2007 who forwarded a obama a muslim e-mail and was
fired. wrote an infamous memo we only learned about a year later saying he was unelectable until maybe 2050, which was not right. he wrote that as a way of saying this is why he's unelectable. not that we're going to go after him for this. but you could also say, that's a bit cynical. the campaign played a very occasionally, just a little bit around the edges of this. every time it was badly burnt because it was just -- it was not politically advantageous for her to look like she was demonizing personally and racially the first black president. for republicans in a very different party with a very different opinion of the president, it was not a downside to go into this. >> yeah. that's the key point here, right? you had -- donald trump, of all the people for donald trump to point the finger, he's standing up there himself making the claims. it wasn't people loosely affiliated with donald trump running around the margins forwarding things. and let's be clear, the clinton
campaign in 2008, there was dirty stuff that happened. there were some research i remember hearing about where i thought these people have lost their minds. you know, there was stuff around the edges, but that's very different than that being a central plank being pushed by the campaign. >> completely. and the jeremiah right story, they had to be ginger about it. there was a backlash. dealt with this differently. the fact it's being taken seriously at all says something larger about the political narrative about-in. hillary clinton. and i think let's go story to story. in this case, it's not really her and her circle who made this. it was conservatives. >> all right. thanks very much. coming up, there's something
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prilosec otc. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. i just want to take a moment and do something i've never been able to do on television. ready? ♪ happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday bruce springst n springsteen, typhoid mary and marty schottenheimer ♪ ♪ happy birthday to you
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♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ it's arguably the most famous song in the english language, but you hardly ever hear it on tv or in a movie. instead, what you usually get is something like this. >> and we'll sing a new birthday song. ♪ happy birthday, happy birthday, dear friend ♪ ♪ happy birthday ♪ what a day for a birthday
let's all have some cake ♪ ♪ we baked you a birthday cake ♪ this is your birthday song it doesn't last too long ♪ ♪ you say it's your birthday ♪ happy birthday to you ♪ happy, happy birthday from all of us to you ♪ ♪ to you >> that was weird. how come we only sang the last two words? what happened to the happy birthday part? >> but yesterday, a federal judge in los angeles ruled the age old copyright on "happy birthday to you" is invalid. it's now considered a public work and free for use to use in a commercial setting without fear of having to pay for it, hence my singing of it. the ownership of happy birthday has been controversial. the publisher warner chapel has owned the copyright to happy birthday to you. every time anyone wanted to use a song on a commercial setting like movie or tv or restaurant,
they had to fork over a licensing fee, usually $1,500. those licensing fees earn warner cha pel an estimated $2 million a year. they'd been enforcing a copyright just since 1988 when it bought the original copyright from a company that bought it back in 1985. yesterday, a federal court determined the original copyright only covered specific piano arrangements, not the specific song itself. it comes by way a lawsuit filed in 2013 by film maker jennifer nelson who paid for the rights to use the song in a documentary and sued to get her money back. to help explain how "happy birthday to you" was able to withstand several decades of law, her attorney will join me next.
the owners had to act fast. thankfully, mary miller banks with chase for business. and with greater financial clarity and a relationship built for the unexpected, she could control her cash flow, and keep the ranch running. chase for business. so you can own it. warner music contentiously owns the copyright to the song and has earned millions from people for a quarter of a century. and warner is so protective of the song that even to sing "happy birthday" in a restaurant, at a concert, or public place, you must pay royalties. don't believe these people are serious about protecting their intellectual property? marilyn monroe sang it to president kennedy, and one year later, they were both dead. >> joining me now jennifer nelson and a plaintiff in the copyright suit, her attorney mark rivkin.
first of all, i never think of it being written by someone. seems it must have fallen out of the ether. who created it? >> the original song was created in 1893. and later on in the 1900s, the lyrics to "happy birthday" were added to the original melody. >> the people that wrote the song "happy birthday to you" didn't write the melody. they put the lyrics on a preexisting song. >> no the sisters were kindergarten teachers in louisiana, and they composed and wrote the "good morning to all" lyrics and melody, and then later on, they added the "happy birthday" lyrics. but there was happy thanksgiving to you, there was a litany of other lyrics. >> these school teachers wrote the song. they filed for a copyright? >> they copyrighted "good morning to all," the original song. that is correct. >> and that's the copyright that somehow warner bought?
how does that work? how do you buy someone else's license? >> the copyright that the hill sisters had was filed in 1893 and covered the original composition, "good morning to all," when they made the derivative work, she did it for her kids in her kindergarten class, not to exploit commercially, not to copyright, not to protect. no copyright ever filed for that. >> ahh. >> 35 years later, 1935, the hill sisters give to the publishing company the right to a couple of specific piano arrangements that were written by two employees, not by the hill sisters, but two completely different people who never wrote the lyrics to "happy birthday" and never claimed to write the lyrics. >> and they end up with the copyright. >> that's the source of the copyright that warner until yesterday said covered the song that the hill sisters wrote. >> the copyright isn't for the song, it's for the piano arrangements, second of all,
warner purchases this and starts going around. it'd not been enforced this way until warner gets its hands on it? >> it hadn't been except for threats of infringement. warner has taken what was two limited copyrights to piano arrangements and they blew it up into a copyright to the world's most famous song. >> and got away with it for 37 years! or 27 years! >> a long time. this case has been a long time in the making, but we are delighted to be able to free the song forever. >> well, why are you making this movie? what seized your imagination? >> well, started out as a movie about the "happy birthday" song because nobody knows anything about it or where it comes from or why it's so important to us in our culture. and then it sort of evolved into this other story. >> about intellectual property, right? about copyright and the ways that, i mean, the copyright term in this country has been extended time and time again by congress, often when mickey mouse's copyright is about to
run out. they say we're going to extend another -- what is it 98 years? >> 98 years. >> and that goes against. the whole reason you have at copyright, it's in the constitution that you have copyright, so that people will create, right? >> exactly. >> but at a certain point, you start to hem in creation if you don't let things in the public domain. >> how many times has a documentary film maker said, oh, we can't use the "happy birthday" scene because you don't want to pay for that song. >> we can't put it in because it has this song in it. >> absolutely. and sometimes it's an important story point. and you can't use it, so, yes, it's been inhibiting. >> are they going to appeal this? i imagine they will. >> well, they can try. they don't have a right -- >> this is a district court decision. >> by the chief judge in los angeles. they don't have the right to appeal now, but they do have an opportunity to ask judge king for permission to appeal. i think given the voluminous record, he's not going to see an
immediate appeal. so i think we're going to move forward on the damages part of the case. >> happy birthday liberated. it's an amazing moment. thank you very much for joining us. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> you're a good singer. >> thank you. >> "happy birthday to you" is weirdly one of those songs hard to sing. >> you start out too low and start scraping the bottom of your rage. >> i'm bad at singing everything. nobody's good at singing that, except apparently you. amazing stuff. >> thank you. >> chris hayes, what can't he do? well, thank you at home for joining us this hour. big day today. this is the video we shot today on g. street in downtown washington, d.c. it's a beautiful day today in washington, d.c. one of the most beautiful i can ever remember spending in this city. we shot this video today. you can see in the background of the shot as people are walking past what looks to be a homeless person, a homeless man sleeping on that