Copyright laws can certainly be tricky when it comes to the use of music in different situations. Because of this, many companies have gotten sued by labels and artists for using their music illegally. The latest to slip up is energy drink brand Bang Energy. After several infringements, Sony Music is suing their parent company Vital Pharmaceuticals. Sony has filed for copyright infringement for Bang’s use of the major label’s music during promotional videos on social media without obtaining a license.
Bang Energy has used over 100 licensed sounds by Sony Music
Within the lawsuit, Sony Music further explains how Bang has “experienced meteoric growth” making it “the third highest-selling energy drink in the United States.”
Image via @bangenergy on Instagram
They go on to explain the growth Bang has seen since promoting on the internet: “Bang’s explosive growth has been amplified by its use of social media – the Bang defendants actively market Bang and Bang-related products on social media, including TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook apps and related websites to increase Bang’s reach, brand value and sales.”
Bang regularly posts videos containing its energy drinks, shots, apparel. Many of these videos indeed contain music overtop. Sony lays their argument with this in mind, stating “the Bang defendants’ videos are choreographed to famous copyrighted sound recordings and musical compositions.”
The lawsuit continues, “The Bang defendants brag loudly about the billions of views that their videos have received, but have been silent since Sony Music demanded an explanation for the unauthorised use of at least 132 copyrighted sound recordings – owned or exclusively licensed by Sony Music – in no less than 209 videos posted on the social media accounts.”
Sony Music already informed Bang Energy of their infringement earlier this year
Apparently Sony Music had already informed Bang of their infringment in the first place. In April, via both a phone call and letter, they reached out to Bang about the concern. Sony reports that, “In response, the Bang defendants meekly stated that its legal department did not agree with Sony Music’s contentions of infringement, but failed to provide any basis for their disagreement.”
In the lawsuit, Sony claims that Bang Energy is “robbing Sony Music of the revenues it is entitled to for use of its sound recordings and depriving its artists of an important source of revenue.” Because of this “irreparable harm,” Sony is requesting statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement.