Monster Energy has to pay the remaining members of the Beastie Boys $1.7 million for using five of the group’s songs without permission.
The suit had been gaining momentum for two years before finally heading to New York Federal Court last Tuesday. The track, which was put together by Dj Z-Trip, includes “Sabotage,” “Pass the Mic,” “Make Some Noise,” “So What’cha Want” and “Looking Down the Barrel Of a Gun,” and was used by the beverage company in a four-minute-long recap video of a snowboarding competition that Monster sponsored.
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Early on, the company admitted to infringement and thought that $125,000 would be enough to cover the damage.
Living members Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond felt differently, and wanted $1 million for infringement, along with another million for the video’s display of “RIP MCA” at the end, with a design similar to the Monster logo. Horovitz and Diamond felt that this implied that bands endorsement of the video.
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Apparently the jury agreed, and awarded the pair close to $2 million.
The trial also reaffirmed the unfortunate fact that there will be no new Beastie Boys music in the future. Diamond testified that “we can’t make new music,” in the wake of third founding member, Adam “MCA” Yauch’s passing.
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This isn’t the first time the boys have filed suit for improper use of their music. In March of this year, they settled for an undisclosed amount with the toymaker, GoldieBlox, for their use of 1987’s “Girls” to parody in a commercial. The guys also turned down a decent amount of money from Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wanted to use their song “Sabotage” in promotional materials for his film of the same name, which flopped. Horovitz and Diamond have kept their commitment to Yauch, who they promised they would never allow use of their music in commercials or advertisements.
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