Monster Copyright Case

Last week the Beastie boys’ claim against Monster Beverage Corp for $2 million went to trial in New York.

The Beastie Boys’ claim originates from an online promotional video posted by Monster of a snowboarding event which used a mash up of five of the Beastie Boys’ songs.  At the end of the video the words “RIP MCA” appear in typeface similar to the Monster logo.

During the hearing which began on 27 May 2014, the Beastie boys said that they do not licence their music to endorse commercial products.  They also pointed out that it was specifically stated in the will of deceased band member Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, that his music or his likeness should not be used in connection to any advertising.

Monster have admitted that they breached the Beastie Boys’ copyright but have stated that it was a mistake and that the sum of $2 million is illogical considering that the promotional video was available online for five weeks and received less than 14,000 views.

The hearing is expected to last for several more days and it is accepted that the Beastie Boys will receive some damages; however commentators are unsure how the damages will be affected by the use of the words “RIP MCA”.

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