Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz and Michael “Mike-D” Diamond fought for their rights and now have a huge reason to party. Last night the two surviving Beastie Boys were awarded $1.7 million verdict for their copyright infringement lawsuit against Monster. The case centered over a promotional video Monster posted to its website that featured parts of “Sabotage”, “So Whatcha Want”, “Make Some Noise”, and “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”. Monster’s video came with a downloadable 23 minute mash up of Beastie Boys songs taken from live performances. All of this was done without the band’s permission, though there was debate over whether the mashup’s creator DJ Z-Trip had endorsed use of the video through his one word response: “Dope”.
Although the verdict is less than the $2.5 million dollar target the group the band demanded, Horowitz confirmed in a statement that “We’re happy. We just want to thank the jury.” The case isn’t officially closed, however. Monster’s attorney Reid Kahn expressed to Rolling Stone his desire to appeal. “We will make an application to the Court to set aside the verdict and we intend to file an appeal. From the inception, Monster Energy has been willing to resolve this matter in a fair and equitable manner and we will continue to make additional efforts to reach a just resolution of this dispute.”
The band’s deceased member Adam “MCA” Yauch was in the news last month for a unique tribute to his memory involving Tibetan breakdancing monks in Union Square. Yauch founded the Beastie Boys in 1983 with Horovitz and Diamond with the goal of shifting away from punk rock to a more hip hop feel. The boy s became one of the fastest selling artists of the decade thanks to their debut album Licensed To Ill. This paved the way for the Double Platinum Paul’s Boutique, cementing the trio as one of the most popular groups of the decade. In 2012 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming just the 3rd rap group achieve such a feat. A few days later, MCA succumbed to his three year battle with cancer.
Perhaps the greatest detail for Beastie Boy fans involves the end of the official written verdict. In it the court explains that the Suing Party may now feel “‘as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce,’ because Monster’s Third-Party Complaint against [them] has ‘got the rhyme and reason but no cause.'” Who knew the music of the Beastie Boys would one day influence legal speak!