Following news that Adam Yauch’s will prohibits the use of Beastie Boys material in advertisements, the group sued the maker of Monster Energy Drink for copyright infringement for using the band’s songs without permission in a promotional video and as a free download.
The verdict is in – Beastie Boys have won a $1.7 million verdict in their copyright lawsuit against the makers of Monster Energy Drink.
A spokesperson for the group declined to comment on the verdict, but Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz made a general statement after the verdict, noting, “We’re happy. We just want to thank the jury.”
When Ad-Rock took the stand, he traced the Beasties’ career, saying the trio were “very lucky” and explaining their lengthy artistic process. Billboard noted that the proceedings were filled with awkward smiles and explanations of terms used in hip-hop culture; but Ad-Rock was reportedly quite amused when the defense asked him to identify Mike D (dressed as a sailor) in several images used in a watch ad.
The group initiated the lawsuit in 2012 following the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch. The suit, filed by Mike D, Ad-Rock and Yauch’s widow Dechen, claimed that Monster included parts of “Sabotage,” “So What’cha Want,” Make Some Noise” and “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” in a promotional video posted on Monster’s website, along with a 23-minute medley of Beastie Boys songs made available for download as an MP3. The songs were taken from footage of a live set by DJ Z-Trip at the Monster-sponsored Canadian festival Ruckus in the Rockies, held a few days after Yauch died in May. Yauch’s will specifically prohibits any company from using the group’s music for advertisements.
Pocket Copyright Guide for Publishers by Laura N. Gasaway and edited by Iris Hanney contains information vital to the publishing community.
Photo: The Beastie Boys live at Sonar, Barcellona 2007, Michael Morel photographer. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.