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Cougar Fight Song for Sale

Cougar Fight Song for Sale

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Alex Cabrero ReportingNotre Dame University has "the Notre Dame Victory March," Michigan has the popular "Hail to the Victors," and Brigham Young University has "Rise and Shout." However, if the son of the man who wrote BYU's fight song has his way, the school will finally purchase the song.

Alumni are upset because this song has been a tradition at BYU football and basketball games for 60 years. The copyright to the song belonged to the man who wrote it, Clyde Sandgren. When he died in 1989, the copyright transferred to his son, who now says it's only fair if BYU buy the copyright or he'll sell it to someone else.

On any football Saturday in Provo, you're likely to hear the BYU fight song. Loyal Hastings graduated some 50 years ago, but that song, for him, is timeless. He says, "True blue cougars, go cougars, football season, basketball season."

The son of the man who wrote the song now wants BYU to buy the copyright. In a statement, Dee Sandgren says "some have asked us to simply donate the property, and our reply to them is that if my father intended to donate these copyrights to BYU, he could have done it anytime over the 40 years that he lived after he copyrighted the song."

Clyde Sandgren, who was a vice president in BYU's legal department, copyrighted the song in 1947. BYU has been using it ever since.

BYU Spokesman, Michael Smart, said, "Mr. Sandgren granted BYU permission to use the song, and that permission continues to this day."

BYU has been making money off the fight song. At the bookstore today we found a keychain that plays the fight song at the push of a button.

"BYU has the rights to use the song, and those rights will continue, even in the event of a sale to a third party," Smart said.

That might happen. Sandgren says, "If the school does not value the school's heritage, and no reasonable offer is forthcoming, then we will offer the copyrights to the highest bidder."

Michael Smart didn't know if the school had a written contract or a verbal one with Sandgren to use the song.

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