This Is What Happens When Beastie Boys Go to Court

'Dope' has to be explained, sailor suit pictures are seriously examined

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 28, 2014 10:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Beastie Boys are suing Monster Beverage Corp. over using their music in a promotional video posted just days after the death of member Adam Yauch, who specified in his will that his music was never to be used in ads. The case went to trial in New York yesterday, and as Billboard tells it, there were some fairly amusing moments:

  • The defense's counsel had to explain the word "dope," noting, "You'll learn during the course of this case that 'dope' ... is a positive affirmation."
  • When Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz took the stand, he had to explain what a "single" is, which made him laugh.

But perhaps most amusingly, Horovitz also had to spend time examining and testifying on pictures presented by the defense showing fellow member Michael "Mike D" Diamond wearing a sailor outfit for an ad campaign for watches. The defense, trying to establish that the Beastie Boys have indeed licensed their music for consumer products before, asked Horovitz if the pictures showed his bandmate posing in a sailor suit. "He sure is," said a smiling Horovitz, who tried not to laugh out loud as a huge poster of the sailor picture was presented to the jury. But the case could involve some serious money, notes Reuters; the Beastie Boys want Monster to pony up $2 million. Monster, for its part, thinks it should pay at most $125,000.

Beastie Boys rapper Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz leaves federal court in Manhattan after testifying at a copyright trial Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in New York.   (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)
In this 1989 file photo originally provided by Capitol Records, members of the Beastie Boys, from left, Adam Horovitz, Michael Diamond, and Adam Yauch, are shown.   (AP Photo/Capitol Records)
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