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article imageBig Bang Theory sued for Soft Kitty

By Kavelle Christie     Dec 30, 2015 in Entertainment
Alstead - The daughters of a New Hampshire teacher who wrote a poem about a "soft kitty" filed a lawsuit on Monday against TV's hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, for violating their copyrights.
Edith Newlin's daughters sued CBS and other media-related companies over the copyright to a song the lawsuit says has been used multiple times on The Big Bang Theory, starring Jim Parsons. The lyrics begin: "Soft kitty, warm kitty."
Newlin, who died in 2004, prior to the "soft kitty, warm kitty" lullaby being aired on The Big Bang Theory, worked as a nursery school teacher in Alstead, New Hampshire, for more than 35 years.
The "soft kitty, warm kitty" lullaby first made its debut in the "The Pancake Batter Anomaly" episode in March 2008. Since then, The Big Bang Theory cast has sung a lullaby with the phrase "soft kitty, warm kitty" approximately seven more times — often to comfort theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons.
The lawsuit states The Big Bang Theory used the lyrics written by Newlin in the 1930s without purchasing the rights and have sometimes made it seem as if the "Soft Kitty" lyrics were penned by the show's producers.
The daughters' lawsuit also says the lyrics have also been used in merchandising, including being displayed in their entirety on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, pajamas, mouse pads, mobile phone covers, wallets, air fresheners, refrigerator magnets, singing plush toys and other products.
Newlin's daughters, who still live in the small town of Alstead, first learned of the sitcom's use of the lyrics in August 2014.
Ellen Newlin Chase says 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.
According to the lawsuit, in 2007, Warner Bros. Entertainment and the show's other producers opted to use the lyrics and sought permission from Willis Music Co., a Kentucky-based company that published them in the book, Songs for the Nursery School.
Willis Music subsequently authorized the use of the lyrics, allegedly without consulting or getting permission from Newlin's daughters. The book, Songs for the Nursery School made it clear that Newlin was the author of and owned the copyright to the lyrics.
"The Soft Kitty Lyrics are among the best-known and most popular aspects of The Big Bang Theory. They have become a signature and emblematic feature of the show and a central part of the show's promotion," states the lawsuit.
Newlin's daughters are seeking unspecified damages from the show's producers and distributors.
More about Big bang theory, CBS, Sheldon Cooper, jim parsons, soft kitty
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