September 21, 2021

Beastie Boys fight to keep $1.7 million Monster Energy award

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beastie-boysBy Marc Hogan From Wandering Sound

Way back when the Beastie Boys were young upstarts getting censored on American Bandstand and banned for trashing Holiday Inn suites, anyone who predicted they’d be spending much of their future in courtrooms probably had a very different idea. This year alone, the pioneering New York rappers have settled with toymaker GoldieBlox over an unauthorized commercial parodying 1987’s “Girls.” They recently delivered a crushing argument against a suit infamously litigious label TufAmerica filed on the eve of Adam Yauch’s death. And they won a $1.7 million jury award in their trial against Monster Energy, which used the group’s music without permission in a promotional video.

Monster Energy quickly put out a statement saying it “strongly disagree[s]” with the verdict, and last month the company filed papers to get the verdict thrown out. As Law360 reports, yesterday Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz called on a New York U.S. District Court judge to shoot down Monster Energy’s request and let the group keep the cash. As well they should: After all, these are the guys who rapped, on 1986’s ”Paul Revere”, “My name’s Mike D and I’m about to get money.” Does Monster Energy want to make him into a liar?

Close, actually: The beverage maker claims the verdict was too much and “a miscarriage of justice.” The Beastie Boys, for their part, contend the jury came to its decision reasonably and based on plenty of proof. Monster Energy’s latest courtroom maneuver “is based on little more than its unhappiness that the jury wholly rejected Monster’s facially unbelievable excuses for its egregious conduct,” the Beastie Boys reportedly said in court documents. “The [jury’s] decision was supported by the evidence and by common sense.”

The matter will be one for Paul Engelmayer, a federal judge in Manhattan, to decide. As for the legal battle with TufAmerica, which has also sued Frank Ocean and others, the Beasties told a court in June that the New York-based label doesn’t really own the copyrights in question, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While we’re on the subject of Beastie Boys samples, the legendary funky drummer Idris Muhammad, whose music underpins the first track on the group’s now-25-year-old landmark Paul’s Boutique, died this summer after a long and notable career.

On a hopefully lighter note, “Ad-Rock” Horovitz appears in a new James Murphy-scored Noah Baumbach movie, While We’re Young.

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