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Bang Energy social media ads infringe Sony Music copyright, judge rules

A Sony Corp logo is pictured on a glass case reflecting the company’s Walkman series, which are portable music players, in the lobby of the company’s headquarters in Tokyo February 9, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

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  • Court finds hundreds of popular Bang videos used Sony music without permission
  • Judge ruled corporate videos and influencer videos infringe copyright

Sept. 15 – Social media ads from energy drink maker Bang Energy infringe Sony Music Entertainment’s copyrights on more than 200 recordings by musicians, including Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. Miami.

Before the trial of U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas decision for Sony Music on some of its claims follows its decision for Universal Music Group in July on similar allegations regarding Bang Energy videos.

The companies and their attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

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Last year, Sony Music sued Bang and its CEO Jack Owoc for allegedly posting at least 286 videos featuring songs by its artists without permission. The label Told the court that Bang used an “aggressive and visible” social media campaign to fuel his growth, particularly on the popular short-video app TikTok.

Bang’s TikTok account has over 1.5 million followers and TikTok videos with the #bangenergy hashtag have over 18 billion views.

Sony Music asked Dimitrouleas in July to declare that Bang’s videos infringed his copyrights and that he was responsible for the infringed videos for which he had paid influencers.

Bang replied that Sony Music’s case was “filled with fatal flaws of evidence”.

Dimitrouleas said it was “undisputed” that Bang used the label’s music without permission and held him liable for direct copyright infringement. He also said Bang was vicariously liable for videos posted by influencers, but declined to comment for Sony Music on contributory infringement claims.

The judge also rejected Bang’s fair use defense and its argument that Sony Music was not entitled to actual damages or loss of profits.

The case is Sony Music Entertainment v. Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 1:21-cv-22825.

For Sony Music: David Rose and James Sammataro of Pryor Cashman

For Bang Energy: Joseph Kohn of Quarles & Brady

(NOTE: This story has been updated with additional information from Sony Music’s attorneys.)

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Bang Energy copyrighted UMG music in TikTok ads, judge rules

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