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Copyright infringement alleged against pop star, additional parties

Pop/country icon Carrie Underwood is accustomed to being on the receiving end of accolades.

Not lawsuits.

It is the latter, though, that currently spotlights the singer and multiple other parties, who are joined together as defendants in a recently filed federal lawsuit. That legal filing alleges that Underwood and those entities (which include the National Football League and NBC Universal Media) engaged in copyright infringement of a creative work.

The subject matter at issue is a song entitled “Game On.” Ardent football fans likely need to merely close their eyes and focus on the title for a second or two to have the melody and Underwood’s distinctive delivery come to mind. The singer’s videotaped belting out of that tune preceded every NFL Sunday evening game nationally televised last season.

There’s a problem with that, say songwriter Heidi Merrill and three co-plaintiffs, namely this: They wrote the tune some years back, and the NFL intro was never cleared with them. Their lawsuit states that Merrill even peddled the song to Underwood’s producer back in 2017, subsequently receiving a “we’re going to have to pass” response.

The massive and repeated airplay of the tune thus galls, say the plaintiffs, who contend that its use constitutes copyright infringement. Their lawsuit seeks financial compensation and injunctive relief via a jury trial.

Reportedly, the two versions of Game On are not precisely the same. The plaintiffs stress, though, that they are “substantially – even strikingly – similar.”

We will keep readers duly apprised of any material developments that occur in the case.

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