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MTV Sued for Airing 'Super Bowl Shuffle' Without Permission

By Jason Beahm | Last updated on

"We are the Bears Shufflin' Crew
Shufflin' on down, doin' it for you.
We're so bad we know we're good.
Blowin' your mind like we knew we would.
You know we're just struttin' for fun
Struttin' our stuff for everyone.
We're not here to start no trouble.
We're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle."
 -- Super Bowl Shuffle, Chicago Bears, 1985

It sounds incredibly corny now, but it was a big hit in 1985. In some ways, it's still popular now.

That would explain why Viacom allegedly used the video on MTV and VH1 despite not having permission. 

Julia Meyer, who owns the rights to the video, is now suing Viacom for airing the video without permission. Meyer filed suit in Chicago in federal court. According to the lawsuit, there are parties interested in the video, which Viacom undermined by playing. Meyer is asking for a jury to determine damages.

Viacom, through spokeswoman Kelly McAndrew, called the Super Bowl Shuffle lawsuit "unfounded."

Meyer's late husband produced the hit video by the 1985 Chicago Bears, which sold half a million singles and became the theme song of the Super Bowl champions. According to Meyer, Viacom has violated her copyright by playing the video without permission.

Copyright is an intellectual property right granted to the creator of an original work. The copyright holder retains the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. Copyright law is subject to certain limitations, designed to balance the public interest and promote creativity. The use of someone else's copyrighted material requires permission. A copyright holder may choose to license, transfer or assign their copyrights to others.

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