A federal jury in Manhattan issued the verdict on the eighth
day of trial in a copyright dispute between members of the
Brooklyn-born band and the energy drink maker over songs the
band says Monster used without a license in a 2012 promotional
The Beastie Boys had sought up to $2.5 million for copyright
infringement and false endorsement.
Monster countered that it owed no more than $125,000, calling
the case "illogical" and saying an employee had mistakenly
believed the company had permission to use the music.
Beastie Boys members Adam Horovitz, or "Ad-Rock," and Michael
Diamond, or "Mike D," attended much of the trial and both
testified. After the verdict was read, Horovitz hugged his wife,
musician Kathleen Hanna.
"We're happy," Horovitz said after the hearing. "We just want to
thank the jury."
Reid Kahn, a lawyer for Monster, said the company would appeal.
Filed in August 2012, the lawsuit centered on an online video
promoting an annual snowboarding competition the company
organizes and sponsors in Canada called "Ruckus in the Rockies."
The video, which Monster uploaded to YouTube, featured the
competition and an after-party attended by DJs, including
Z-Trip. It included a remix by Z-Trip of Beastie Boys songs,
including "Sabotage," "So Watcha Want" and "Make Some Noise."
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The four-minute video concluded with a sentence saying "RIP MCA."
Adam Yauch, a Beastie Boys member who went by "MCA," died a day
before the snowboarding event, after a battle with cancer.
The Beastie Boys complained to Monster in June 2012 and subsequently
sued, saying the Corona, California-based company did not have
permission to use its music.
"It stole the Beastie Boys' right to say no," Paul Garrity, a lawyer
for the band, told jurors at the start of the trial.
Monster acknowledged it had infringed the Beastie Boys' copyrights,
but contended it was not done willfully.
"The plaintiffs try to take the undisputed evidence and spin some
tale of an insidious corporate conspiracy," Kahn, Monster's lawyer,
told jurors Wednesday during closing arguments.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York and Bernard Vaughan in New
York; Editing by Gunna Dickson)
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