'Rocky Top' song owners sue A&E

Claim network used 12-second clip without authorization

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The owners to the rights of the bluegrass standard "Rocky Top" are suing the television network A&E over the use of the tune in a crime documentary.

The lawsuit claims the network used the tune in a 12-second clip, even after the song owners said A&E could not use it. The lawsuit is seeking financial compensation.

Felice and Boudleoux Bryant penned the song in 1967 and the couple's children own the rights under the corporate name House of Bryant.

A&E's attorney Robb Harvey would not discuss the case with The Tennessean newspaper and an attorney for House of Bryant did not return calls for comment.

The A&E show, called "City Confidential," highlighted an attempted contract killing in Knoxville in 1994. The episode first aired in 2004.
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