Entertainment & Arts

Beastie Boys win $1.7m copyright ruling over song use

Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond
Beastie Boys members Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond, better known as Ad-Rock and Mike D

The Beastie Boys have been awarded $1.7m (£1.1m) over the unauthorised use of their music in fizzy drink adverts.

"We're happy," said rapper Adam Horovitz, known as Ad-Rock, outside the Manhattan courtroom.

California-based Monster Energy Co. admitted using Beastie Boys tracks in a promotional video that was online for five weeks, but argued over the amount of money for which it was liable.

The jury awarded $120,000 (£71,000) for each of ten violations of copyright.

The Beastie Boys had sought upwards of $2m (£1.2m) from the company.

The court found Monster had committed wilful copyright infringement involving the songs Sabotage; So Watcha Want; Make Some Noise; Pass the Mic and Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun.

The jury also awarded an additional $500,000 (£297,000) after finding Monster had used the bands' persona without permission, which had suggested a false endorsement of its products.

As the verdict was read out, Horovitz clasped his wife's hand and nodded in agreement.

Yauch used his will to stop his music or image being used in advertising

Lawyers for Monster said the company would appeal against the ruling.

The eight-day trial featured testimony from Horovitz and bandmate Michael Diamond, known as Mike D,

The band's third member Adam 'MCA 'Yauch, died, aged 47, in May 2012.

Before his death, Yauch left instructions in his will to stop people from using his music or image in advertising.

The instructions read: "In no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes."

Horovitz had testified the hip-hop group would never licence songs to endorse commercial products, while Diamond testified that the band was protective of its existing catalogue of music since Yauch's death.

The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and have sold more than 40 million records worldwide.

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