KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The copyright owners of the "Charlie Brown Christmas" theme song have sued Dollywood in federal court for copyright infringement.
News outlets report the complaint says the East Tennessee theme park named for country star Dolly Parton has used the song without permission in live Christmas performances since 2007.
The lawsuit says Los Angeles-based Lee Mendelson Film Productions owns the copyright and is asking for $150,000 for every time the song has been used.
The court documents read, “Plaintiff is entitled to receive the maximum amount of statutory damages for willful copyright infringement, $150,000, for each act of willful infringement.”
According to the suit, "Christmas Time is Here" was written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the 1965 television special "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
They claim it's been used in Dollywood's “Twas the Night Before Christmas” show since 2007, “if not earlier.”
Dollywood said it is aware of the lawsuit but declined to comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit alleges that Dollywood had been notified about its “failure to obtain a license for dramatic rights, and yet, despite notice, Defendant has failed to obtain a license to exploit 'Christmas Time is Here’ and has committed willful copyright infringement thereby.”