The song, “Soft Kitty,” is a favorite of the character Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and has become a big merchandising item for the network.
The lawsuit was filed by Margaret Perry and Ellen Chase, the daughters of poet Edith Newlin, who wrote a similar song, “Warm Kitty,” in 1937. Her daughters are alleging that the CBS sitcom does not own the copyright to their mother’s song and are asking for compensation from the network.
Deadline reports that Willis Music, the music publisher who bought the rights to a book containing the original song, licensed “Warm Kitty” to Big Bang Theory‘s producing studio, Warner Bros. The copyright case will come down to whether or not Willis Music actually owned the rights to “Warm Kitty” when they bought the book of songs it belonged to 80 years ago.
From Kevin Cranley, owner of Willis Music:
In 1937, we published a book called ‘Songs for the Nursery School,’ and we sold tens of thousands of copies. It is a hardbound book of over 150 songs for children. The book was written by Laura Pendleton MacCarteney. In that book on page 27 is Warm Kitty. Warner Brothers and I worked together to secure the rights for the show The Big Bang Theory and they have been using the song ever since. The writers wanted the song because one of them remembered it as a child. They also wanted to slightly change the words and I’m really not sure of the reason for that change.”
Watch a clip of “Soft Kitty” below:
What do you think? Do you think the lawsuit has merit? Are you a fan of “Soft Kitty”? A fan of Big Bang Theory?