Beastie Boys’ Copyright Infringement Trial Against Monster Underway
A jury heard the opening statements from both sides regarding the Beastie Boys' claim that the energy drink company used their music without their permission as well as violated late member Adam "MCA" Yauch's will that stated, "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes."
The suit focuses on a video that was produced for Ruckus in the Rockies, a snowboarding competition that Monster, along with other brands, organized in Canada. Following the event in 2012, the beverage company released a promo video on YouTube featuring the competition and after-party and included a remix of their songs 'Sabatoge,' 'So What'cha Want' and 'Make Some Noise.' The clip also included a sentence saying, "RIP MCA," to honor Yauch.
While attorney Paul Garrity, who is representing the Beastie Boys in the case, claimed that Monster took away the group's right to say no to the usage, Monster's lawyer, Reid Kahn, contends that the Beastie Boys' suit for $2 million is "illogical" and said that they should just settle for $125,000. Kahn acknowledges that Monster infringed on the copyrights but that it was an employee's mistake.
From the looks of things, this may be one lengthy trial. But the Beastie Boys are no stranger to these types of lawsuits.
Last year, the group slapped toy company GoldieBlox with a lawsuit when it used the rap trio's 1987 track, 'Girls,' in a video that went viral.