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Bang Energy violated UMG music copyrights in TikTok ads, judge says

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The TikTok symbol is pictured outside the company’s U.S. head business office in Culver City, California, U.S., September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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  • Decide states UMG showed Bang’s TikTok video clips misused music
  • Concerns stay on damages, liability for alleged influencer infringement

(Reuters) – A federal decide in Florida identified Monday that power drink maker Bang Energy infringed Universal Audio Group’s copyrights by putting up TikTok ads with audio from some of the label’s most common artists without authorization.

Virtually 140 TikTok advertisements posted by Bang and its CEO Jack Owoc violated UMG’s legal rights in songs by musicians together with Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa and Cardi B, U.S. District Choose William Dimitrouleas stated.

On the other hand, UMG had not nonetheless demonstrated that Bang Electrical power was liable for Bang advertisements posted by TikTok influencers that allegedly misused UMG’s tunes, according to the Fort Lauderdale-dependent judge.

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Bang Strength, UMG and their attorneys did not immediately answer to requests for remark on the ruling.

UMG sued Bang Vitality last 12 months, and mentioned the company relied on an “aggressive and conspicuous” social-media campaign to grow to be one particular of the largest power-consume firms in the United States. Bang Energy’s TikTok account has about 1.5 million followers, and TikTok movies with the #BangEnergy hashtag have garnered almost 18 billion views.

“The Bang Defendants brag loudly about the billions of views that their movies have received on TikTok, but have been silent considering the fact that Plaintiffs demanded an clarification for the unauthorized use of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted musical performs,” the lawsuit explained.

Sony New music has also sued Bang Strength in a very similar situation that is still in development.

Bang Electricity informed the courtroom that UMG’s case was “replete with lethal evidentiary flaws,” and that it reasonably thought it had a license from TikTok, which it reported compensated the labels to use the tracks.

Dimitrouleas claimed Monday that UMG had verified that Bang’s ads infringed. UMG confirmed that it owned the copyrighted music and that Bang’s movies employed them with no permission.

Bang’s argument that it thought it had a license is suitable to how a lot it owes in damages, and not whether or not it infringed, Dimitrouleas claimed.

The circumstance is UMG Recordings Inc v. Very important Pharmaceuticals Inc d/b/a Bang Energy, U.S. District Court docket for the Southern District of Florida, No. 21-cv-60914.

For UMG: James Sammataro of Pryor Cashman

For Bang Electricity: Joseph Kohn of Quarles & Brady

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