Dollywood sued over performance of Charlie Brown Christmas song


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) — A lawsuit filed on Oct. 8 shows that Lee Mendelson Film Productions is suing Dollywood for unauthorized use of a copyrighted song.

The lawsuit alleges the park has been performing Christmas Time is Here live during Dollywood's "Twas the Night Before Christmas" show since 2007, "if not earlier."

According to the suit, Christmas Time is Here is a popular Christmas song written by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi for the 1965 television Special A Charlie Brown Christmas, one of the first animated Christmas specials produced for network television in the United States."

Lee Mendelson Film Productions is demanding compensation for use of the song. They want $150,000 for every instance the song has been used, plus attorney fees.

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.”

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
and has committed willful copyright infringement thereby."

Dollywood told WVLT News they have no comment in response to the allegations.