The heirs of the song's creators claim CBS doesn't have a license to use the song in DVDs or on digital platforms.
The heirs of the two men who created The Andy Griffith Show's theme song are suing CBS for allegedly using the work without a license.
Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer wrote "Theme for the Andy Griffith Show" in the '50s, and registered its copyright in 1960, according to the complaint filed Thursday in California federal court. Their rights in the work were later transferred to their partnership, Larrabee Music. After their deaths, The Diana R. Spencer Trust and the Hagen Family Trust inherited the rights and eventually dissolved Larrabee and gave partial copyright ownership to the Hagen Children’s Trust and the Hagen Decedent’s Trust.
Now the heirs claim CBS is exploiting the theme without a license by selling DVDs of the series. They argue the network is relying on an 1978 agreement between Viacom and Mayberry Enterprises concerning rights to the series and that the agreement doesn't include home video or other modern media.