Underwood’s 2018 Sunday Night Football performance is marred in a copyright infringement lawsuit for sounding identical to a song pitched to her team in 2016, but Heidi Merrill another singer-songwriter.
The lawsuit gets pretty specific too. Plaintiff Heidi Merrill argues in her lawsuit “that Underwood’s own “Game On” is “substantially — even strikingly — similar, if not identical,” to her song, in title as well as tempo, meter, time signature, hooks, chord progression, and other specifics.”
“The Defendants knowingly, willfully, and intentionally copied original, copyrightable elements of the Plaintiffs’ original Work,” the complaint continues, “publicly performed or displayed the Infringing Song, and otherwise violated the Plaintiffs’ exclusive copyrights in the Work for substantial personal and commercial gain.”
The lawsuit identifies nine defendants including Carrie Underwood, her producer Mark Bright, EMI Entertainment, Warner Chappell Music, the NFL, and NBC. Merrill and her co-writers are seeking an injunction and damages of an unspecified amount. Merrill’s attorney, Timothy Foster, provided further comment in a statement to Billboard.
“Federal copyright laws are designed to protect the authors of original creative works, including our clients who wrote the original song ‘Game On’ in 2016 and submitted it for Carrie Underwood’s consideration through her producer,” Foster said. “As alleged in our complaint, after Ms. Underwood’s representatives indicated that they were not interested in using ‘Game On,’ Ms. Underwood, with help from the other Defendants, released her new Sunday Night Football theme song with the same title, which is substantially similar to our clients’ original ‘Game On’ in numerous respects.”
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