A jury in Manhattan federal court heard opening statements in
the case stemming from the popular Brooklyn-born band's attempts
to hold Monster to account for unauthorized use of its music in
a 2012 promotional video.
Paul Garrity, a lawyer for the Beastie Boys, said the Beastie
Boys had made a choice years ago to not license their music to
promote commercial products like the caffeine-filled drink sold
by Monster, which was required to seek a license.
"It stole the Beastie Boys' right to say no," Garrity said.
With members of the band in attendance, Garrity urged the four
men and four women on the jury to award at least $2 million for
copyright infringement and for false endorsement.
Reid Kahn, a lawyer for Monster, called that sum "illogical" and
said the company should pay at most $125,000. He acknowledged
Monster infringed the copyrights, but only because an employee
thought the company had permission for the music.
"In this case, it turns out to have been a mistake," he said.
Filed in August 2012, the lawsuit centered on a video produced
for an annual snowboarding competition Monster organizes and
sponsors in Canada called the "Ruckus in the Rockies."
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After the event, Monster posted a promotional video on YouTube
featuring the competition and an after-party attended by various
DJs, including Z-Trip.
The video included a remix of Beastie Boys songs, including
"Sabotage," "So What'cha Want" and "Make Some Noise."
The video also included, at the end, 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 in June 2012, saying Monster did not
have permission to use Z-Trip's mix in the video. The lawsuit
followed in August 2012.
Beastie Boys members Michael Diamond, or "Mike D," and Adam Horovitz,
a.k.a. "Ad-Rock," were in attendance during trial Tuesday, and
Horovitz later testified. Yaunch's widow, Dechen Wangdu, also
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