Details Emerge in Deal Over Beastie Boys ‘Girls’

     (CN) – The details of a settlement between the Beastie Boys and a toymaker that used its song “Girls” came to light in an unrelated case involving Monster Energy.
     Both cases pit the Beastie Boys against companies that have used their songs without permission.
     The Beastie Boys actually drew controversy in the toymaker case, however, because the use in question had the noble intention of encouraging girls to choose careers in science and math.
     Before GoldieBlox aired the 30-second spot in the 2014 Super Bowl, its video went viral on YouTube, getting 8 million hits in 10 days.
     Set to the Beastie Boys song “Girls,” with revised lyrics, the ad depicts three girls more interested in building a Rube Goldberg-type contraption than in playing with pretty princess toys.
     Though the parties settled that California case in March, there were no details published.
     Such information finally came to light, however, as the Beastie Boys’ challenge against Monster Energy heads to trial in Manhattan over a video promoting the Ruckus in the Rockies 2012 snowboarding event.
     U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer on May 7 forbade the band from offering testimony based the GoldieBlox settlement.
     Engelmayer noted that the March 16 settlement “granted GoldieBlox a retroactive license to use the musical composition of ‘Girls’ between November 18, 2013 and November 28, 2013.”
     “In exchange, GolideBlox agreed to make annual payments of 1 percent of its gross revenue, until the total payments reached $1 million, to a charitable organization chosen by the Beastie Boys approved by GoldieBlox which supports ‘science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics education for girls,'” he continued. “The parties also agreed to make certain, specifically worded public statements, and to keep the settlement agreement confidential, with certain exceptions, including its use in litigation.”
     Lisa Thomas, a music-licensing expert whom the band has tapped as a witness for its case against Monster, will speak to “the fair market value of a license to use the musical composition and sound recordings included in the allegedly infringing video at issue in this case,” according to the video.
     She will also testify as to “the fair market value of the implied endorsement allegedly created by the use of the Beastie Boys’ names and trademarks in the video by defendant Monster Energy Company.”
     Engelmayer denied a motion to preclude Thomas’ testimony “except to the extent that Thomas proposes to offer testimony based on the settlement agreement in GoldieBlox, Inc. v. Island Def Jam Music Group et al.”
     “The court will not permit such testimony,” he added.
     Kent Raygor of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Los Angeles represented the Beastie Boys in the California case. In New York, the band is represented by Sheppard Mullin attorney Paul Wendell Garrity.
     GoldieBlox was represented Daralyn Dure of Dure Tangri LLP in San Francisco.
     Kane Kessler attorney Adam Cohen represents Monster.

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