Apr 3, 2017

Big Bang Theory 'Soft Kitty' Case Dismissed

American television sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, has successfully fought off a copyright infringement in respect of its famous 'soft kitty' song.

The 'soft kitty' song from the Big Bang Theory has become an incredibly popular and catchy rhyme that viewers of the programme recognise for its comedic value.  The song was popularised by the character 'Sheldon', the extremely intelligent but socially inept physicist. In the programme, Sheldon is known to make the other characters sing the 'soft kitty' song to him when he is feeling unwell.

The lullaby has become so popular that the words have been featured on a number of different Big Bang Theory merchandise, such as t-shirts, mugs, watches and sleepwear.

It emerged a few months back, however, that there was some conflict over the origins of the words of the song in that it was allegedly written by a nursery school teacher from New Hampshire who died in 2004. Her daughters, Ellen Newlin Chase and Margaret Chase Perry, brought the action of copyright infringement against the show claiming that the Big Bang Theory bosses have used the lullaby without their mother's consent.

It is purported that the alleged writer of the song, Edith Newlin, wrote the song entitled 'Warm Kitty' in the 1930's.  She was later approached by the Willis Music Company of Kentucky who asked if they could publish the lullaby into a book of nursery rhyme songs entitled 'Songs for the Nursery School'.

The show's producers had supposedly sought permission to use the lyrics from the Willis Music Company back in 2007 however according to the claim the music company did not consult Mrs Newlin's heirs who are now annoyed that their mother has not been credited. Mrs Newlin's daughters uphold that their mother was the holder of the copyright in the 'Warm Kitty' song and now that she has died the copyright ultimately vests in them.  In addition to this, the daughters of Mrs Newlin are also accusing the CBS show of taking credit for the lyrics. It was claimed that the song had been used in at least eight episodes since 2008.

The television network were sued in 2015 over this alleged copyright infringement however this week a judge in New York dismissed the case on the basis that the claimants had failed to show that they were the owners of the copyright and that they deserved damages.

in: Copyright, News

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