Beastie Boys Win $1.7M for Snowboarding Promo
(CN) - Monster Energy owes $1.7 million to Beastie Boys after a federal jury in New York credited the copyright infringement claims by the punk band.
The rockers sued the beverage company in 2012 for copyright infringement and false endorsement over the use of four of its songs in a video promoting a "Ruckus in the Rockies" snowboarding event.
Set to a remix created by DJ Z-Trip, or Zach Siacca, the video used the Beastie Boy songs: "So Watcha Want," "Sabotage," "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" and "Make Some Noise." The video also made mention of the ability to download the songs for free.
The Beastie Boys sent Monster a cease-and-desist letter and the video was eventually taken down.
In their complaint, the Beastie Boys said that Monster had no right to use their copyrighted recordings. Monster meanwhile tried to deflect its responsibility for any copyright infringement by saying that it relied on the DJ's false claims that he had authority to use the songs in the remix.
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled this past November, however, that Z-Trip was not responsible because "there is ... no evidence on which a reasonable juror could find acceptance of contractual terms.'
During an eight-day trial that kicked off in Manhattan late last month, Monster continued to claim that it would owe the band no more than $125,000, Reuters reported.
It also called the case "illogical" because an employee mistakenly believed the company had permission to use the music. There was no indication of the identity of that employee.
The band sought up to $2.5 million, but a federal jury awarded them $1.7 million on Thursday.
Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond reportedly attended the trial. Adam "MCA" Yauch died of cancer a day before Monster's snowboarding event.
Reid Kahn, a lawyer for Monster, indicated that the company would appeal, according to Reuters.
Kahn is part of Kane Kessler in New York.
Attorney Paul Wendell Garrity of Sheppard Mullin in New York represented the Beastie Boys.