The Beastie Boys have been declared victorious in their fight against Monster Energy and were awarded a hefty sum as compensation for the company’s unauthorized use of “Sabotage” and other songs.
The Beastie Boys have taken Monster Energy down in court. Thursday, surviving band members Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond were awarded $1.7 million by a New York jury, and you have to imagine late musician Adam “MCA” Yauch would be pleased with the decision.
Reasoning that the drink company had violated the band’s copyrights by using several songs — “Sabotage,” “Make Some Noise,” “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” and more — in a 2012 promotional video, the jury sided with the Beastie Boys.
Horovitz, Diamond and Yauch’s widow filed the case in 2012 and requested $2.5 million. Their suit argued Monster Energy had led the public to believe the band was in some way endorsing its products.
For its part, Monster countered it only owed the Beastie Boys $125,000 and blamed the copyright infringement on an employee mistakenly believing the company had permission to use the songs.
A few months after Yauch lost his battle with cancer of the salivary gland, the Washington Post reported on the details of his will. According to the newspaper, one section explains: “In no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes.”
The Beastie Boys formed in 1981 and have long sworn they wouldn’t sell out. Lyrics from the band’s 1998 “Putting Shame In Your Game” include the lines “I might stick around or I might be a fad, but I won’t sell my songs for no TV ad.”