The iconic hip-hop group The Beastie Boys have won a $1.7 million verdict in their copyright lawsuit against Monster Beverage over the company’s unauthorized use of the group’s music in a promotional video.
The group sought up to $2.5 million for copyright infringement and false endorsement. Monster didn’t agree with the verdict and stated that they owed no more than $125,000, calling the case “illogical” and saying that a Monster employee had mistakenly believed the company had permission to use the music:
“Although Monster Energy has great respect for the verdict of the jury, we strongly disagree with it,” Reid Kahn, attorney for Monster, tells Rolling Stone. “We will make an application to the Court to set aside the verdict and we intend to file an appeal. From the inception, Monster Energy has been willing to resolve this matter in a fair and equitable manner and we will continue to make additional efforts to reach a just resolution of this dispute.”
The living members of the Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz, aka “Ad-Rock,” and Michael Diamond, aka “Mike D,” attended the trial and both testified. “We’re happy,” Horovitz said after the hearing. “We just want to thank the jury.”
The lawsuit was brought against Monster Energy Drink in 2012 after the company featured parts of the Beastie Boys’ music catalog (“Sabotage,” “So What’cha Want,” “Make Some Noise” and “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”) on a promotional video on their website, along with a 23-minute medley of the band’s songs made available for download as an MP3. The cuts 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 Adam “MCA” Yauch died in May. Yauch’s will specifically prohibit any company from using the group’s music for advertisements.