The Beastie Boys lawsuit against Monster Energy drink is in NYC court this week; Mike D takes the stand today
It has been a year of legal dealings for the Beastie Boys, with the band fighting for their right to keep their songs out of ads and promotional videos. After coming to an out-of-court agreement with kids toys manufacturers GoldieBlox back in March, the group’s two-year lawsuit against Monster Energy drink finally went to court this week in NYC.
The Beastie Boys claim the energy drink makers used likenesses of the band, as well as five songs as part of a “megamix” that were in a snowboarding video titled “Ruckus in the Rockies” that was posted on a promotional website back in 2012 — only a few days after the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch. Yauch’s will stated that “in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes.”
The trial began on Tuesday (5/27) at NYC’s Thurgood Marshall Courthouse in the Financial District, with Adam “Ad Rock” Horrovitz taking the stand. Billboard was there:
Horovitz couldn’t help from smiling and laughing at some of the music business rudiments the case required him to explain, such as the nature of a “single.” He described the importance of the five songs used as “very important to our catalog.”
During cross examination, proceedings got even more humorous, as the defense tried to establish that the Beastie Boys’ claim of never licensing their work for consumer products, which Horovitz called “a form of selling out,” wasn’t true. This entailed Horovitz examining several pictures of Mike Diamond posted in a sailor outfit for the watch promotional campaign. Asked if it was Mike D in a sailor costume, Horovitz responded with a smile “He sure is.” It seemed to take everything in Horovitz’s power not to laugh out loud as the defense brought forth a gargantuan poster featuring Mike D’s sailor picture for the jury to examine.
Today (5/29), Mike D will take the stand… probably not in a sailor suit. Stay tuned.