The “Soft Kitty” lullaby that puts “The Big Bang Theory” character Sheldon Cooper’s mind at ease is now a subject of lawsuit filed by the heirs of Edith Newlin, the female poet who originally composed the lyrics almost 80 years ago.
According to the Associated Press, the daughters, Ellen Newlin Chase and Margaret Chase Perry, are accusing the CBS network of infringing on the intellectual property rights of their late mother by using the now famous lullaby without seeking their permission first or financially compensating them for the use of “Soft Kitty” in the television show.
Their mother wrote the song while teaching in New Hampshire but the original title was “Warm Kitty”. They also take it as an affront when the producers make it appear that the lullaby was their original composition instead of crediting their mother for making the song.
Either Sheldon or one of the characters like Penny has sung the lullaby several times in the television series. Fans have clearly identified the lullaby with the TV sitcom and CBS has made money by using the lyrics on numerous consumer products. The amount that the daughters are seeking has not been publicly divulged but the amount is expected to be quite substantial.
However, Kevin Cranley, the owner of Willis Music claimed that his company was the former owner of the song. “Warm Kitty” was one of the songs in a Nursery book that Willis Music sold to a Warner Brothers who is the producer of “The Big Bang Theory”. Cranley said that some of the lullaby’s wordings were changed when it was sung in the show. The Willis Music owner however, does not dispute that Edith Newlin was the composer of the song.
If Cranley’s claims are true, that his company was the legal owner of the song when it was sold, then the lawsuit filed by the Newlin sister will have no legal basis to stand on.
PHOTO SOURCE: Facebook/The Big Bang Theory