The Jury Awards Beastie Boys $1.7 Million
The jury in the copyright infringement suit brought by the Beastie Boys awarded the band $1.7 million, a bit short of $2 million it was seeking but much higher than $125,000 defendant Monster said it may owe to the group.
The Beastie Boys sued an energy drink maker Monster for its unauthorized use of the band’s music in a promotional video. In the complaint filed for this case, the group stated that
“[t]he public was confused into believing that plaintiffs sponsored, endorsed and are associated with defendant Monster in promoting defendant Monster’s productions and promotional events.”
While admitting the infringement, Monster insisted that its employees believed the company had a permission to use the songs. The ‘permission’ Monster relied upon was from a DJ who made a mash-up mix using the Beastie Boys’ songs. When Monster asked for an approval of the video featuring his mash-up mix, the DJ replied “Dope!” Obviously, the argument failed to convince the jury especially when Monster’s third-party complaint against the DJ for fraudulent representation was dismissed earlier.
In his interview with Rolling Stone, Monster’s attorney Reid Kahn said,
“Although Monster Energy has great respect for the verdict of the jury, we strongly disagree with it . . . . 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.”
Adam Horovitz, better known as “Ad-Rock,” made a short comment after the verdict: “We’re happy. We just want to thank the jury.”