Beastie Boys Win $1.7 Million in Copyright Infringement Case Against Monster

By Joseph Mandour on June 11, 2014

HeadphonesSan Diego – The Beastie Boys recently prevailed in the copyright infringement case filed against Monster Beverage Corp for using the band’s songs in an online video without permission. The case was filed in Manhattan.

The video in question involves the promotion of an annual snowboarding competition that Monster sponsors in Canada called “Ruckus in the Rockies.” The video was posted on Monster’s YouTube channel and included a remix by DJ Z-Trip of Beastie Boys songs, such as “Sabotage” and “Make Some Noise.” Monster acknowledged that it used the Beastie Boys’ songs in the video, but said that it was only because an employee thought that the company had permission to use the music. When emailed about the video, DJ Z-Trip replied saying only “dope”. This was taken by Monster as permission to use the video. The Beastie Boys argued that the word “dope” did not grant any authorization to use the songs.

The Beastie Boys complained about the video to Monster in 2012 saying that they had not given permission to the energy drink company to use their music. The lawsuit followed soon afterward. The band sought $2.5 million in damages while Monster claimed that no more than $125,000 should be awarded.

Last week jurors in the case awarded $1.7 million to the Beastie Boys. A lawyer for Monster said that the beverage company will appeal the decision. The trial lasted about eight days and Beastie Boys members Adam Horovitz, known as “Ad-Rock” and Michael Diamond, known as “Mike D,” attended the trial and both testified. During their tesimony, the band members said they have recently taken a more active role in policing the unauthorized use of their music in advertising. In March the band settled a lawsuit against toymaker GoldieBox for an unauthorized video that incorporated the Beastie Boys song titled “Girls.”

One of the founding members of the band, Adam Yauch who was known as MCA, died on May 4, 2012 at the age of 47 after a three-year battle with salivary gland cancer.

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