A small Central Florida coffee roaster is taking a big stand against energy drink maker Monster Beverage Corp., which is making copyright claims about the use of the word “monster” in one of the coffee company’s blends.
Breyting Community Roaster owner Ric Coven told the Orlando Sentinel that lawyers on behalf of Monster sent his DeLand-based company a cease and desist letter in April relating to the copyright claims over the name “Fred Schneider’s Monster Blend.”
The company developed the blend in collaboration with B-52’s frontman Fred Schneider. The blend name ostensibly references Schneider’s 1984 solo single “Monster,” which was actually banned from MTV upon its release, ostensibly for referencing the monster in the narrator’s pants that “does a nasty dance.” The blend is one of only four offered by the company, all of which are presented in playful, colorful box packaging for direct-to-consumer sales.
Breyting insists that the cease and desist letter follows a long history of copyright bullying on behalf of the energy drink maker. “Monster Energy Co., a publicly traded company and a bona fide corporate bully, believes it is ‘good business’ to use shareholder money to go after any business, large or small, which uses the 14th century words ‘monster’ or ‘beast’ in any way, shape, form, or context,” the company recently wrote in a call to action to help the company fight the legal threat.
“Monster Energy Co.’s empire-building tactics are aimed at destroying honest folks’ livelihoods and artistic creativity,” Breyting owner Coven said in the open letter. “We are just one in a long line of independent companies to receive threats like this and we aren’t afraid to take a stand against corporate bullying.”