Judge Rules That Beastie Boys’ Monster Verdict Will Stay Intact
Ad-Rock and Mike D sued the energy drink company for copyright infringement in 2012
Remember how in 2012 Monster Beverage Corp used five Beastie Boys songs in a four-minute “megamix” video without the band’s permission? And then the Boys sued Monster? And then two divisions of UMG joined in the fun by seeking at least $1.2 million for the infringement? Well, on Thursday a federal judge declined to throw out the Boys’ previous $1.7 million jury verdict against Monster.
According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled there was “ample basis” to believe the video, originally assembled by Monster using DJ Z-Trip’s free-to-download megamix of the Boys’ songs, could dupe people into believing that Beastie Boys were endorsing Monster energy drinks, which they officially weren’t. (Please also recall how in October of last year, Monster threw Z-Trip under the proverbial bus by stating that “the disc jockey” authorized the use of the megamix and that Z-Trip had committed breach of contract and fraud because he said the word “Dope!”)
Finally, Engelmayer said jurors felt that it was Monster’s intent to trick viewers, thus benefiting from the company’s supposed association with the rap trio “particularly popular among young men, Monster’s target demographic.” In response, Monster’s lawyer Reid Kahn said in an email: “We disagree with the court’s decision and the jury verdict and we intend to appeal.” The two surviving Beastie Boys members, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond, were present at the trial to testify.