TV News

‘Big Bang Theory’ Soft Kitty Stolen Kitty Lawsuit Hits

‘Big Bang Theory’ Soft Kitty Stolen Kitty Lawsuit Hits

big bang theory soft kitty stolen kitty lawsuit hits 2015 imagesFans of CBS’s hit “The Big Bang Theory” know the lyrics to the Sheldon’s soothing song “Soft Kitty,” but the producers may have to pay a hefty fine if the heirs to a New Hampshire teacher who wrote a poem about a “soft kitty” eight decades ago have their way. They have claimed in a lawsuit Monday that TV’s “The Big Bang Theory” is violating their copyrights.

Edith Newlin’s daughters sued CBS and other media-related companies over the copyright to a song the lawsuit says has repeatedly been used on the hit sitcom.

According to the lawsuit, “The Big Bang Theory,” one of the highest-rated shows on television, used lyrics written by Newlin in the 1930s without buying the rights. The lyrics begin: “Soft kitty, warm kitty.”

“The Big Bang Theory” characters have periodically sung a lullaby involving that phrase, often to comfort theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons.

A spokeswoman for CBS declined to comment. Messages seeking comment from other companies sued by Ellen Newlin Chase and Margaret Chase Perry were not immediately returned Monday.

Edith Newlin died in 2004. She had worked as a nursery school teacher in Alstead, New Hampshire, for about 35 years. Her daughters still live in the small town.

The daughters’ lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages from the show’s producers and distributors, says the “soft kitty” lyrics have been used in their entirety on at least eight episodes of the show since March 2008. It says the lyrics also have been used in merchandising, including being displayed in their entirely on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, pajamas, mouse pads, mobile phone covers, wallets, air fresheners, refrigerator magnets, singing plush toys and other products.

And it says the defendants not only have failed to credit Newlin but have sometimes made it appear as if the lyrics were written by one of the show’s producers.

“The Soft Kitty Lyrics are among the best-known and most popular aspects of “The Big Bang Theory,'” the lawsuit says. “They have become a signature and emblematic feature of the show and a central part of the show’s promotion.”

At three or more Comic-Con conventions since 2010, producers and actors from the sitcom led large audiences in singing the lyrics, the lawsuit says.

According to the lawsuit, Ellen Newlin Chase learned of the show’s use of the lyrics in August 2014, when she was researching her mother’s history for an article she was writing and came across a blog post discussing the use of the lyrics on the show.

The lawsuit says Warner Bros. Entertainment and the show’s other producers decided in 2007 that they wanted to use the lyrics and sought permission from Willis Music Co., a Florence, Kentucky-based company that had published them in a book, “Songs for the Nursery School.”

The lawsuit says Willis Music authorized use of the lyrics without consulting or getting permission from Newlin’s heirs even though the book makes clear on its acknowledgment page and where the lyrics appear that Newlin was the author of and owned the copyright to the lyrics.

Messages for comment left with Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., based in Burbank, California, and Willis Music were not immediately returned.

Click to add a comment
TV News
@movietvtechgeek

Jackie Warner is the go to person for all types of reviews at Movie TV Tech Geeks News. She's also the lucky one to get to test all of our Cool Stuff Tech and Toys for review.

More in TV News

Alaina Huffman talks Directing, Fandom, Social Change and 'Supernatural', of course 2017 images

Alaina Huffman talks Directing, Fandom, Social Change and ‘Supernatural,’ of course

Lynn ZubernisJanuary 15, 2017
Philip Prajoux talks supernatural priesthood and timeless 2017 images

Philip Prajoux talks ‘Supernatural’ priesthood and ‘Timeless’

Carol HanssonJanuary 14, 2017
Agents of SHIELD Broken promises and a Possible Comeback 2017 images

‘Agents of SHIELD’ Broken Promises and a possible comeback

Marius MaronillaJanuary 11, 2017
the bachelor 2102 nick viall asks liz to leave after being outed 2017 images

‘The Bachelor’ 2102 Nick Viall asks Liz to leave after being outed

Ricki ReayJanuary 10, 2017
supernatural Not Just a Fandom, We’re Family 2017 images

‘Supernatural:’ Not Just a Fandom, We’re Family!

Dawn GrayJanuary 10, 2017
dustin dorough movie tv tech geeks interview

Dustin Dorough talks Misha Collins’ GISHWHES plus stories from the road

Carol HanssonJanuary 10, 2017
nick viall the bachelor season 21 2017 images

Nick Viall works another ‘Bachelor’ turn and gets racy

Ricki ReayJanuary 9, 2017
gil mckinney talks supernatural kings of con and if he returned 2017 images crop

Gil McKinney talks ‘Supernatural,’ ‘Kings of Con’ and if he returned

Carol HanssonJanuary 9, 2017
supernatural hits lucky 13 as cw renews several mainstays 2017 images

‘Supernatural’ hits lucky 13 as CW renews several mainstays

Jackie WarnerJanuary 8, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription