This week, Sony Music initiated a copyright lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., known for doing business as Bang Energy in the energy drink industry. In its Complaint, Sony accuses Bang of using at least 132 copyrighted sound recordings owned or exclusively licensed by Sony without authorization. For example, Sony points out Bang’s alleged use of “Please Don’t Go” by Mike Posner, “Bad” by Michael Jackson, “Roxanne” by Arizona Zervas, “Gimme More” by Britney Spears, “Say So” and “Like That” by Doja Cat, as well as “Worth It” by Fifth Harmony. Some of those songs, such as “Please Don’t Go,” have been the subject of viral so-called “TikTok trends” within that application.

These sound recordings and others were allegedly used in approximately 209 videos posted to Bang’s social media accounts, including TikTok and Instagram. Taking particular aim at Bang’s alleged use on those platforms, Sony quotes TikTok’s Intellectual Property Policy and Instagram’s Terms of Use in its Complaint. Overall, Sony contends that Bang is “well aware that [its] conduct constitutes copyright infringement,” referring to the energy drink giant as “a sophisticated entity” conducting an “aggressive and conspicuous social media campaign.”

This case is Sony Music Entertainment v. Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Case No. 1:21-cv-22825, in the Southern District of Florida.