I suppose with the kind of ratings and success a show like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is still experiencing, it was only a matter of time before people started trying to figure out how they could get their own from the cash cow. The hit CBS show is currently embroiled in a lawsuit, although ironically it is not anything to do with the geeky material of the show itself, but rather the quaint song Sheldon wants sung to him whenever he is sick, ‘Soft Kitty.’
Apparently ‘Soft Kitty’s is similar to a poem/song titled ‘Warm Kitty’ which was published by Edith Newlin back in 1937. To cover their bases, Warner Bros claimed they got in touch with the company who owned the rights back in 2007 and secured the rights to the song, but now Newlin’s daughters Margaret and Ellen are claiming they are the rightful owners of the song, and are unhappy that Warner Brothers never bothered to contact them. So the sisters are demanding that Warner Brothers pay them for the use of their intellectual property, and to make matters worse (and slightly more vindictive), the sisters are also pushing for the show to get slapped with a court order that would stop ‘The Big Bang Theory’ from ever using ‘Soft Kitty’ again.
What makes the whole situation ever trickier is the fact that even ‘Warm Kitty’ was not entirely original, having been adapted from an English children’s folk song, which itself sounded very similar to a German Song. The good news is, there is no way the network/studio lawyers will not use information such as this to repute the claims by the Newlin sisters, and it stands to reason that the type of lawyers Warner Brothers can hire should be able to prevent the sisters from getting all of their demands, especially since the case is not nearly as black and white as the sisters are claiming.
I personally hope the show wins the case, as the use of the song is always entertaining (if you do not believe me check out the montage of ‘Soft Kitty’ in the video below) and these sisters seem like they are trying to cash in on a legal loophole, and are being downright vindictive by then turning around and demanding the show never use the song again.