Jason Mraz filed a lawsuit this week against beer manufacturer MillerCoors LLC, the maker of Coors Light, for copyright infringement.
The singer-songwriter filed the complaint Wednesday, Dec. 4, in a federal court in Los Angeles. Mraz argues, according to the lawsuit, that the beer company misappropriated his music when it posted an advertisement for Coors Light on Instagram earlier this year that included a 13-second video of Mraz performing one of his songs at the BeachLife Festival, in Redondo Beach, in May.
Mraz, according to the complaint, has asked for $150,000 in damages, plus attorney and court fees. He has also asked the court to prevent MillerCoors from unlawfully using his content for commercial benefit in the future, the complaint said.
An attorney representing Mraz and officials for MillerCoors did not return requests for comment.
Mraz performed at the inaugural BeachLife Festival May 4. About 27,500 people attended the three-day festival, according to organizer Allen Sanford, which ran from May 3 to 5 and featured several big stars, including Willie Nelson and Ziggy Marley. The partial lineup for the 2020 festival, set for May 1 to 3 at Seaside Lagoon, was released last month.
The MillerCoors advertisement, posted in May, uses a clip of Mraz performing his 2008 hit song “I’m Yours.”
The video appears to have been removed from MillerCoors’ Instagram account. But it read “Presented by Coors Light” and showed a beer can. It was captioned: “Kicking off summer with the World’s Most Refreshing Beer at the Beach Life Festival,” per the lawsuit.
Mraz has never licensed “I’m Yours” for use by alcohol companies or other adult-oriented products, according to the complaint, and would never do so because of the tune’s family friendly nature. The complaint — filed in U.S. District Court — added that Mraz doesn’t want the public misled that he has any affiliation with the beer brand.
Mraz never authorized the beer manufacturer to reproduce, distribute, perform, create derivative works based on or exploit any part of “I’m Yours,” according to the complaint.
It’s unclear whether MillerCoors, which sponsored the music festival, had permission to use footage from the three-day music festival for advertising.
Allen Sanford, BeachLife’s founder, did not return requests for comment.
Sean Emery contributed to this report.