| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 27 The Beastie Boys hip-hop group
turned to the courts on Tuesday to fight for their right to not
let energy drink maker Monster Beverage Corp use their
A jury in Manhattan federal court heard opening statements
in the case stemming from the popular Brooklyn-born band's
attempts to hold Monster to account for unauthorized use of its
music in a 2012 promotional video.
Paul Garrity, a lawyer for the Beastie Boys, said the
Beastie Boys had made a choice years ago to not license their
music to promote commercial products like the caffeine-filled
drink sold by Monster, which was required to seek a license.
"It stole the Beastie Boys' right to say no," Garrity said.
With members of the band in attendance, Garrity urged the
four men and four women on the jury to award at least $2 million
for copyright infringement and for false endorsement.
Reid Kahn, a lawyer for Monster, called that sum
"illogical" and said the company should pay at most $125,000. He
acknowledged Monster infringed the copyrights, but only because
an employee thought the company had permission for the music.
"In this case, it turns out to have been a mistake," he
Filed in August 2012, the lawsuit centered on a video
produced for an annual snowboarding competition Monster
organizes and sponsors in Canada called the "Ruckus in the
After the event, Monster posted a promotional video on
YouTube featuring the competition and an after-party attended by
various DJs, including Z-Trip.
The video included a remix of Beastie Boys songs, including
"Sabotage," "So What'cha Want" and "Make Some Noise."
The video also included, at the end, a sentence saying "RIP
MCA." Adam Yauch, a Beastie Boys member who went by "MCA," died
a day before the snowboarding event after a battle with cancer.
The Beastie Boys complained in June 2012, saying Monster did
not have permission to use Z-Trip's mix in the video. The
lawsuit followed in August 2012.
Beastie Boys members Michael Diamond, or "Mike D," and Adam
Horovitz, a.k.a. "Ad-Rock," were in attendance during trial
Tuesday, and Horovitz later testified. Yaunch's widow, Dechen
Wangdu, also attended.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)