Dollywood Sued for Using ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ Song in Yearly Pageant
Dolly Parton's theme park Dollywood is being sued by television producer Lee Mendelson's production company for using a song from the famous A Charlie Brown Christmas television special without their permission. The lawsuit aims to get Dollywood to pay for its previous, and potential future, use of the song, "Christmas Time Is Here."
Mendelson, who executive produced the beloved 1965 Charlie Brown holiday special, co-wrote "Christmas Time Is Here" with famed jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, who composed much of and performed the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack. According to TMZ, which obtained the lawsuit documents, Mendelson's production company owns the copyright to the song, and even warned Dollywood that it was using the song without properly licensing it in 2018.
Dollywood uses "Christmas Time Is Here" during its 'Twas the Night Before Christmas stage show, thereby profiting from unauthorized use of the song. Mendelson's production company claims they've been doing so since 2007, and footage of the show, which is readily available online, shows both the show's cast singing the song and its melody being used as background music.
Mendelson's production company is asking Dollywood to pay for its decade-plus use of "Christmas Time Is Here," and to either stop using the song in its 'Twas the Night Before Christmas show or properly license the song for future use. Parton herself is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
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