House of Bryant, the administrators for the song “Rocky Top,” sued A&E Television Network for copyright infringement of the song based on an authorized clip of the song included in an episode of the television show “City Confidential” featuring a crime that took place in Knoxville, TN.
The City Confidential episode aired on December 11, 2004 and included a 12-second clip of the song “Rocky Top.” The song is included in a scene of a University of Tennessee football game as performed by the school’s marching band. Defendant’s Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss states: “During this brief sequence, and as part of the actual noise occurring within the stadium, the UTK marching band can be heard playing an instrumental version of the
musical composition “Rocky Top.” The song is audible for a total of approximately twelve seconds; however, the tremendous noise of the crowd and the narration of the documentary obscure the song for approximately six of the twelve seconds. Therefore, the song “Rocky Top” can be heard on its own for only six seconds of the Program.”
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