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Dollywood being sued for using classic song from 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' in shows

The suit claims Dollywood had been using the song without the proper license for many years in its annual Christmas productions.

Dollywood is being sued for $150,000 over claims they used a popular Vince Guaraldi Trio song featured in 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' without proper permission.

Lee Mendelson Film Productions, founded by the man who produced the iconic 'Peanuts' Christmas television special along with many other Charlie Brown holiday classics, is suing Dollywood for 'blatant disregard' of the copyright on Guaraldi's 'Christmas Time is Here.'

The lawsuit claims they believe the theme park has been infringing on the copyright for more than a decade in various formats, including playing it during the annual 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' shows performed at the theme park.

The suit also alleged it believes the music had been used without a license for Dramatic Rights at various shows in Dollywood's other properties, such as DreamMore Resort. 

The lawsuit claimed the song had also been used in clips of the production on the park's YouTube page each year as early as 2007.

Dollywood had obtained a performance license from Broadcast Music, Inc. to play the song in the park, but the lawsuit said that did not cover dramatic rights for usage in performances -- claiming Dollywood had willingly committed infringement.

The company is demanding Dollywood to immediately stop using 'Christmas Time is Here' in shows and is seeking damages up to $150,000 in court and any revenues made involving the song. 

The lawsuit claims Dollywood was given notice of the infringement in September 2018, saying the park expressed interest in using the song going forward.

10News reached out to Dollywood, who said it is aware of the lawsuit and cannot comment on ongoing litigation.