(CelebrityAccess) — Country-pop singer Carrie Underwood and the NFL have been sued for alleged copyright infringement over the theme for Sunday Night Football.
Underwood, who has been singing the theme song for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” since 2013, updated the music with a new song called “Game On” in 2018.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court, a singer named Heidi Merrill and several co-songwriters alleged that Underwood’s new song is remarkably similar to a song Merrill co-wrote called “Game On” which she posted to YouTube in 2017. The suit contends that Merrill and her fellow songwriters attempted to market and distribute the work, and found some success when the song was included in a broadcast of CBS Inside College Basketball in March 2017.
According to the suit, Underwood’s “Game On” is “substantially—even strikingly—similar, if not identical, to the Plaintiffs’ Work not only in title but in many other ways, including in tempo, meter, time signature, rhythmic contours and patterns, melodic contours and patterns, hooks (including the shared key phrase of the chorus, “Game On”), note progression and use, and chord progression.”
The suit also alleges that in August 2017, Merrill, while at a music conference in Nashville, submitted the song directly to one of Underwood’s team Mark Bright, who Merrill claims presented himself as a producer for Underwood.
“Ms. Underwood recorded a song that was substantially similar to the original song submitted through her producer, without giving credit or compensation of any kind to the original songwriters,” Tim Foster, Merrill’s lawyer, told Reuters in a recent interview.
Merrill and her co-plaintiffs are seeking a full financial accounting of profits derived by the alleged infringment, and monetary damages. The suit also seeks an injunction blocking the defendants from further alleged infringement.
Here’s Carrie Underwood’s version of the song (lyrics change slightly from week to week to reflect the game):
And here’s Merrill’s version: