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July 24, 2021

Sony sues Gymchark over user-generated videos

Sony Music Entertainment has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against fitness apparel brand Gymshark, valued at approximately $1.3bn, Music Business Worldwide reports. Sony claims that Gymshark “has achieved its success by infringing sound recordings and musical compositions belonging to a number of different content owners on a massive scale”. According to the filing, Gymshark has “largely eschewed traditional advertising” and has instead promoted its products in videos posted to the likes of Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. This may be an important case, because it highlights the place where platform-wide licensing deals for use of music in user-generated content meet the world of sync licensing. Regular users can use music in their videos, but rules change when it comes to brands and influencers paid by those brands, which is a commercial activity.