Beastie Boys Score $1.7M Over Copyright

Band gets another court victory, this time over Monster Beverage

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 6, 2014 5:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's not the $2.5 million they wanted, but it's darn close. The Beastie Boys have been awarded $1.7 million in court after Monster Beverage used the band's music in a 2012 promotional ad without permission, E! reports. The money will be divided among Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, and the estate of Adam "MCA" Yauch, who died days before the spot aired and had specified in his will that his music was not to be used in ads. Monster had called the case "illogical" and said an employee made an honest mistake, Reuters reports. The company had offered to pony up just $125,000.

"We're happy," Horovitz said. "We just want to thank the jury." A lawyer for the band had said earlier the Monster video "stole the Beastie Boys' right to say no." The ad in question contained a mash-up of three Beastie Boys songs, "Sabotage," "So Whatcha Want," and Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun." A lawyer for the energy drink maker said the plaintiffs—no strangers to copyright infringement lawsuits—had tried to "spin some tale of an insidious corporate conspiracy." Monster plans to appeal.

This 2007 file photo shows The Beastie Boys, from left, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock), Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Bassist Adam Yauch (MCA). Yauch has since died.   (AP Photo/Stephen Chernin, file)
Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, outside a New York City courthouse after a jury awarded the “Beastie Boys” $1.7 million in a copyright violation case against Monster Energy Co., Thursday, June 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/Larry Neumeister)
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