For advertisers, adding a catchy song to a commercial is arguably like adding frosting to a great cupcake. A song can add that extra something to the promotion of a product or service that can make consumers remember it. So much so, that they wondered how they ever lived without the product or service in the first place.
However, not every use of a song is authorized, even though its use may be insignificant and even unnoticed by avid listeners. Nevertheless, an artist or songwriter may be able to seek judicial remedies when this occurs.
Such is the case with the Beastie Boys as they seek monetary damages from California based energy drink maker Monster. According to a Bloomberg.com report, Capital Records, LLC and Universal-Polygram International Publishing Inc., the owners of a number of Beastie Boys recordings, sued Monster claiming that it used five songs without permission in a 2012 video at a snowboarding event hosted by Monster.
Capital and Universal-Polygram are reportedly seeking $1.2 million in damages as well as an order barring Monster from using the recordings in other events and promotions.
The suit is yet another example of what can occur with a person’s (or entity’s) intellectual property is used without permission.
Unfortunately for Monster, this is neither the first time it has been sued for the unauthorized use of recordings, nor is it the first time it is has been ordered to pay money damages for its transgressions. It remains to be seen how the latest suit will play out.