Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle The Subject Of New Copyright Lawsuit
A copyright infringement lawsuit has been brought by the owner of the copyrights surrounding the popularized “Super Bowl Shuffle” video, which is based on one of the greatest teams in National Football League history — the 1985 Chicago Bears.
Red Label Music Publishing has sued numerous individuals and companies in the lawsuit, including producers of the film, “’85: The Greatest Team in Football History.” The plaintiff claims that the film copied substantial portions of the original video and that the film has been displayed on various television channels as well as on United Airlines’ in-flight entertainment package.
As is the case with any copyright infringement issue, Red Label Music Publishing says that it never provided permission for the copying or distribution of the allegedly infringing work. It is thus also suing distributors such as PBS, United Continental Holdings, Inc. and even Google and Apple for reproducing, displaying and distributing the work.
The plaintiff claims that substantial excerpts from the Super Bowl Shuffle music, words, sound recording and music video were duplicated and that all of the defendants have been commercially exploiting the resulting product. If substantial portions were simply extracted and duplicated, then it may be difficult for at least the defendant producers to claim fair use.
The other fair use factors such as the purpose and character of the work as well as the nature of the work would likely weigh against the defendants. However, it is currently unknown whether and to what effect the use of any copyrights by the defendants had on the market or potential market for the original Super Bowl Shuffle video. That type of information would likely be revealed in discovery, if the case ever gets that far.
Red Label Music Publishing is suing for statutory damages based on having copyright registrations in place, as well as a return of its reasonable attorneys fees and costs. It is also seeking an injunction from the court to prevent further duplication and delivery of the film.
Interested in copyright infringement cases? In October, William Hill filed a lawsuit against FanDuel for allegedly ripping off its sports betting pamphlet titled, “How to Bet Betting Guide.”