Carrie Underwood has reportedly been hit with a lawsuit over her football anthem "Game On."
According to Billboard, Underwood is being accused of copying a track from another songwriter, plaintiff Heidi Merrill, who claims she wrote and recorded a tune of the same name akin to the country singer's 2018 Sunday Night Football theme song two years prior. In her complaint, Merrill alleges she submitted the track to Underwood and her producer, Mark Bright, at a Nashville conference in 2017 but the record was turned down.
However, Merrill says Underwood's "Game On" version is “substantially — even strikingly — similar, if not identical” to the cut she pitched initially, specifically "in title as well as tempo, meter, time signature, hooks, chord progression and other specifics," per the report.
The complaint adds: “The Defendants knowingly, willfully, and intentionally copied original, copyrightable elements of the Plaintiffs’ original Work, publicly performed or displayed the Infringing Song, and otherwise violated the Plaintiffs’ exclusive copyrights in the Work for substantial personal and commercial gain.”
Now, Merrill and her co-writers are seeking an injunction and damages of an undisclosed amount against Underwood, Bright and nine other defendants named in the lawsuit, including EMI Entertainment, Warner Chappell Music, the NFL, and NBC.
"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," Merrill's attorney, Timothy Foster, told Billboard in a statement. "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."
Underwood has not yet given comment on these accusations.
Listen and compare the tracks below.
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