In a complaint filed yesterday (June 19) in Federal court songwriter Heidi Merrill claims she wrote and recorded and presented to Carrie Underwood a song that Carrie rejected but then went on to present as her own to NBC. Underwood and her producer, Mark Bright, liked the song but would "have to pass." Heidi says she was shocked when a year later she heard Carrie's new song for Sunday Night Football!
Her lawsuit says: "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."
Underwood and Bright faced similar accusations for the song "Something in the Water." That case was dismissed.
Merrill's lawyer tells Billboard: "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. "This type of exploitation is precisely what our copyright laws are designed to protect against," he continues, "and we will aggressively seek to vindicate our clients’ rights in the original song they created."
I've listened to both and I think Heidi's got a good case. What do you think?