Beastie Boys Win Another Legal Battle Against Monster Beverage
Earlier this year, the Beastie Boys were awarded $1.7 million from the Monster Beverage Corporation after winning their copyright infringement / false endorsement lawsuit against the company. Now, a federal judge in New York squashed Monster’s attempt at voiding the decision, forcing the company to pay up.
The initial trial took place last May and June. It charged Monster Energy for copyright infringement after they used ‘The Beastie Boys All-Access Megamix’ by DJ Z-Trip in a four-minute snowboarding competition video, which contained five Beastie Boys songs. Monster’s representative Nelson Phillips claimed that Z-Trip gave them permission to use the track.
In the 69-page decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer ripped Phillips for his “lack of training in music licensing” and added was “ample basis” to believe the video could confuse people into believe the Beastie Boys endorsed Monster energy drinks"
The judge added. “The Beastie Boys are featured as prominently in the video as Monster -- where Monster is dominantly featured pictorially, the Beastie Boys are dominantly featured aurally. The Beastie Boys' music fills almost all of the video."
According to Billboard, the Z-Trip mix used in the video contains five Beasties songs – ‘Sabotage,’ ‘Pass the Mic,’ ‘Make Some Noise,’ ‘So What'cha Want" and ‘Looking Down the Barrel Of a Gun.’
The ruling also states that “Z-Trip did not have the right to sell or license the remix, or to authorize third- parties to use it. Nor did he obtain any rights to the underlying Beastie Boys songs.” It adds, “However, Z-Trip did not have the right to sell or license the remix, or to authorize third- parties to use it. Nor did he obtain any rights to the underlying Beastie Boys songs.”
Monster Energy admitted they are guilty of infringement but fought back on the amount awarded to the group. The company will now have to pay the Beastie Boys $1.7 million.
According to Reuters, Monster plans on appealing the judges’ decision.
You can read the entire ruling here.