Beastie Boys awarded $1.7 million in Monster case

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm •  Published: June 5, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — It's a rap: The Beastie Boys have won $1.7 million in a copyright violation case against the maker of Monster Energy drink.

Thursday's ruling ends a case in which the two surviving members of the band testified about their staunch opposition to the use of their music in commercial endorsements.

"We're happy," rapper Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz said outside the courtroom after the federal court jury in Manhattan returned its verdict after a day of deliberations.

The Corona, California-based Monster Energy Co. had admitted wrongly using Beastie Boys songs in a video that was online for five weeks. But the beverage maker insisted it should owe no more than $125,000. The Beastie Boys had sought $2 million.

Horovitz clasped his wife's hand tightly in the first row of spectator seating as the judge read aloud a verdict in which jurors found Monster had committed willful copyright infringement involving five songs: "Sabotage," ''So Watcha Want," ''Make Some Noise," ''Pass the Mic" and "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun."

Jurors chose to award $120,000 for each of 10 violations of copyright.

The jury also awarded an additional $500,000 after finding that Monster used the bands' persona without permission, suggesting a false endorsement of Monster's products.

The sometimes lighthearted New York rappers were humorless at trial, with Horovitz sitting intently through testimony and deliberations for a case he clearly took seriously. As it became clear the band was getting almost everything it asked for, Horovitz nodded in agreement with several of the findings. He hugged his wife after the verdict.