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Beastie Boys Win $1.7 Million in Lawsuit Against Monster Beverage Corporation

Beastie Boys
Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images

The Beastie Boys have just won their copyright infringement / false endorsement lawsuit against the Monster Beverage Corporation. Surviving Beastie Boys members Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horowitz and Michael ‘Mike D’ Diamond, along with the widow of Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch, took Monster to court after insisting Beastie Boys music was improperly used in a promotional video and a downloadable 23-minute medley. According to Reuters, in response to Monster’s misuse of the group’s music, a sum of $1.7 million was awarded to the trio.

The suit was filed in 2012, soon after the death of Adam Yauch. It was claimed that Monster used portions of Beastie Boys tracks ‘Sabotage,’ ‘So What’cha Want,’ ‘Make Some Noise’ and ‘Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun’ without the group’s permission. The lawsuit also stemmed from a 23-minute medley of Beastie Boys songs performed by DJ Z-Trip just a few days after Yauch’s passing. DJ Z-Trip compiled the tribute for the Monster-sponsored Canadian festival Ruckus in the Rockies, and the medley was made available for download by Monster.

The plaintiffs were looking to get up to $2.5 million from the suit, while Monster claimed that the maximum amount possible to owe was $125,000. Needless to say, the people at Monster aren’t happy with the $1.7 million decision. “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.”

Although a spokesperson for the Beastie Boys declined to comment after the court’s ruling, Ad-Rock stated, “we’re happy. We just want to thank the jury.”

The Beastie Boys have been aggressive in defending the will of Adam Yauch, which requests that no Beastie Boys music ever be used in advertisements by outside companies. A separate suit was recently filed by the Beastie Boys against GoldieBlox, who used the song ‘Girls’ in a commercial.

One other key aspect that came out of the recent court proceedings was the fact that Beastie Boys pretty much confirmed the band is no longer active. “We have not been able to tour since MCA, Adam Yauch, died,” Mike Diamond testified, according to the National Post. “We can’t make new music.”

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