Even though “The Andy Griffith Show” premiered on CBS almost 60 years ago, a lawsuit has just been filed alleging that the network used the show’s iconic theme song — you know, the one that’s whistled as Andy and Opie walk near a lake and Opie throws a rock — without the permission of the song’s creators, Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer, Digital Music News reports.
The multimillion-dollar lawsuit was filed by the descendants of the song’s creators. Besides being the network that originally televised the series, CBS currently holds distribution rights.
“The plaintiffs allege that a 1978 agreement signed between Viacom and the song’s creators only covered distribution platforms that were available at the time — not VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, and on-demand streaming video. As such, the plaintiffs claim that they are owed compensation for the television show’s subsequent distribution,” the story reports.
The report adds: “The lawsuit could signal a broader-reaching battle ahead for TV classics, especially as on-demand platforms continue to expand.”