Nov 19, 2020

NFL and other leagues face a battle for music

Record labels within the music industry are beginning to crack down on the infringing use of their artists’ materials by football teams of the National Football League (“NFL”) and other sporting brands. Similar crackdowns have recently taken place by artists such as Guns N Roses and the use of their works without permission by well-known figures like Donald Trump in promotional videos.

Over the past few years, there has been a significant push for NFL teams to create new and innovative digital content to promote its franchises in order to attract a wider audience. Given the ease at which music can be obtained without the content of the owners and placed as a backdrop to certain promotional videos, record labels have taken steps in the attempt to efficiently protect their licensed music.

Most recently, the Arizona Cardinal has reportedly agreed an unknown settlement with a record label due to its unauthorised use of an artist’s music without obtaining a valid license. This unauthorised use of music has not only occurred within the NFL, but other sporting platforms like the National Basketball Association. This issue is becoming a regular occurrence due to the licensed music being unknowingly recorded in the background of promotional material.

It is clear that unless NFL and NBA teams can agree far reaching and wide ranging licensing deals, the unauthorised use of artist’s musical works will continue to occur, whether accidental or not.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or

in: Copyright, EU/International

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