Beastie Boys awarded $1.7 million in Monster Energy copyright case
At issue was a mix by DJ Z-Trip used by Monster Energy that included five Beastie Boys songs, including “Sabotage” and “Pass the Mic.” DJ Z-Trip gave the drink manufacturer permission to use the mix for a recap of a snowboarding competition it sponsored, but Monster Energy did not have the Beastie Boys’ permission.
From the start of the New York Federal Court trial, Monster Energy admitted it was at fault, so the trial was to determine damages. Monster Energy wanted to pay $125,000, the two remaining Beastie Boys, Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond, wanted $2 million— $1 million for the copyright infringement and $1 million for Monster Energy implying that the Beastie Boys’ endorsed the usage.
Both Horovitz and Diamond testified at the trial. Among the facts revealed was that the pair will not ever record together as the Beastie Boys again, following Adam Yauch’s death.
The Beastie Boys aren't messing around when they say they do not want their music used to endorse products. In March, the act settled with GoldieBlox over the toy company's parody of the group's 1987 song, "Girls." The settlement included an apology on the company's website to the band and an undisclosed donation to Beastie Boy-selected charities that supported science, technology, engineering and math education for girls.