Bosses at energy drinks firm Monster Beverage Corp. have vowed to appeal a court ruling ordering them to pay the Beastie Boys $1.7 million (£1.06 million) for copyright infringement. A jury at Manhattan federal court in New York ruled against the defendants on Friday (06Jun14) after an eight-day trial, during which they admitted to using the band's music, including hits Sabotage and Make Some Noise, in a 2012 online video tribute to late band member Adam 'MCA' Yauch without permission.
Monster Beverage's attorney, Reid Kahn, claimed his clients incorrectly thought they had the authority to use the tracks and urged jurors to award the rappers no more than $125,000 (£78,000), as the Beastie Boys' demands for at least $2 million (£1.2 million) in damages were "contrary to common sense".
He is now planning to challenge the judgement on his clients' behalf.
A statement released following Friday's loss reads: "Although Monster Energy has great respect for the verdict of the jury, we strongly disagree with it. We will make an application to the Court to set aside the verdict and we intend to file an appeal.
"From the inception, Monster Energy has been willing to resolve this matter in a fair and equitable manner and we will continue to make additional efforts to reach a just resolution of this dispute."
Surviving Beastie Boys Michael 'Mike D' Diamond and Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz each took the stand during the trial and insisted they would never have allowed their songs to be used by Monster Beverage Corp. as they had promised their late pal that they would fight any commercial exploitation of the band's music.
The Beastie Boys have been awarded $1.7 million (£1.06 million) in damages for copyright infringement. The hip-hop group's lawyer, Kevin Puvalowski, had been seeking at least $2 million (£1.2 million) in compensation from bosses at Monster Beverage Corp., after they admitted to using the rappers' songs without permission in a 2012 online video tribute to late band member Adam 'MCA' Yauch.
The defendant's attorney, Reid Kahn, claimed his clients incorrectly thought they had the authority to use the music, which included hits Sabotage and Make Some Noise, and on Wednesday (04Jun14) asked jurors at New York's Manhattan federal court to award the band no more than $125,000 (£78,000), as the Beastie Boys' demands were "contrary to common sense".
However, the jurors sided with the legendary rap stars when they delivered their verdict on Thursday (05Jun14).
The decision wrapped up an eight-day trial, during which surviving members Michael 'Mike D' Diamond and Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz took the stand to give evidence and revealed they had promised their late bandmate that they would fight any commercial exploitation of the band's music.
A lawyer representing the Beastie Boys has urged jurors overseeing his clients' copyright infringement trial to award the band at least $2 million (GBP1.2 million) in damages. In his closing arguments on Wednesday (04Jun14), Kevin Puvalowski stated that bosses at Monster Beverage Corp's use of the trio's songs without a license in an online video was "absolutely egregious".
Bandmates Michael 'Mike D' Diamond and Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz, who previously testified in the case, were spectators in the Manhattan courtroom as Puvalowski told jurors Monster bosses had hoped to benefit from how "cool" his clients' had become.
The 2012 video appeared as a tribute to late band member Adam 'MCA' Yauch, but it failed to impress the Beastie Boys, who are very protective of how and where their music is used.
Monster's lawyer Reid Kahn acknowledged his clients had infringed the Beastie Boys' copyrights, but insisted they incorrectly thought they had permission to use the music.
Kahn told the court that the band's demands for damages were "contrary to common sense", and asked jurors to award the band no more than $125,000 (GBP78,000).
The surviving members of the Beastie Boys have vowed not to record new music under the group's name after making a promise to late rapper Adam 'Mca' Yauch before his death in 2012. The hip-hop trio has not released any new material since 2011 album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, and Michael 'Mike D' Diamond reveals fans won't be hearing anything else from the Beastie Boys now that co-founder Yauch is no longer alive.
He revealed the news during a New York court hearing in the band's ongoing copyright infringement battle against the bosses of Monster Beverage Corp, who stand accused of using five of the band's tracks in a promotional video without permission. During his testimony on Friday (30May14), Diamond admitted he and Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz had made a vow with Yauch to prevent any new music being released without each member's input.
Testifying at Manhattan Federal Court, the Sabotage hitmaker said, "We have not been able to tour since MCA, Adam Yauch, died. We can't make new music." Diamond returned to the witness stand on Monday (02Jun14), when defence lawyer Dana Susman attempted to depict the band as hypocrites after the rapper claimed they had turned down "a lot of money" after producers behind Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent film Sabotage asked them for permission to use their 1994 song of the same name.
Diamond revealed they had rejected the offer because they "weren't fans of Mr. Schwarzenegger's recent... work", but Susman called the rapper out and suggested they had subsequently backtracked as their song was used as the action man's walk on music during a recent appearance on America's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Susman alleged the band had received a fee of $600 (£375) in exchange for allowing a snippet of the track to be used, but Diamond insisted he had no knowledge of the deal and claimed any agreement would have been because they are "fans of that show", reports the New York Daily News. The Beastie Boys had previously performed on Fallon's previous programme, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, prior to Yauch's death.
Beastie Boys star Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz took the stand in New York on Wednesday (28May14) as the band's copyright infringement case against the bosses of Monster Beverage Corp went to trial. Ad-Rock and bandmate Michael 'Mike D' Diamond filed suit against the company last year (13), claiming executives used five of the hip-hop trio's tracks in a promotional video without permission.
The tribute montage was posted online days after the death of founding Beastie Boys star Adam 'MCA' Yauch, who had made it clear in his will that his likeness or art would not be used in any advertisements.
The Ruckus in the Rockies video debuted at a snowboarding event in Canada and ended with the words "RIP MCA", but the rapper's bandmates were not impressed with the promo and they have sued for $1 million (£625,000) in damages for the song usage and an additional $1 million (£625,000) for "implied endorsement".
Testifying in Manhattan on Wednesday, Ad-Rock gave the court a brief history of his band before answering defence questions.
The trial is expected to last a week.
Beastie Boys star Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz is expected to testify in the band's copyright infringement case against Monster Energy Drink this week (begs26May14). The rapper, Mike Diamond and their bandmate Adam Yauch's widow, Denchen Yauch, filed a suit against the company in 2012, claiming bosses had used a number of songs, including Sabotage and Make Some Noise, in a promotional video at the Ruckus Festival in Canada without permission.
Horovitz is scheduled to appear appear at Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City on 27 May (14), when he'll represent the Beastie Boys, who are seeking financial damages of $150,000 (GBP94,000) for each infringement, as well as a permanent injunction.
In their suit, the band's lawyers state, "The public was confused into believing that plaintiffs sponsored, endorsed and are associated with defendant Monster in promoting defendant Monster's productions and promotional events".
The court battle comes just months after the Beastie Boys settled a copyright infringement suit over the use of their song Girls in a viral ad for toy firm GoldieBlox.
Company bosses issued an apology to the group, published in small print at the bottom of their website, admitting they should have contacted the band before deciding to use the song in their advert.
Bosses at toy company GoldieBlox have issued an apology to rap group the Beastie Boys after settling a legal battle surrounding the use of their track Girls. The rap group's surviving members Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz and Mike 'mike D' Diamond accused the company's executives of copyright infringement over the use of their song in a viral advert, but an undisclosed settlement was reached earlier this week (beg17Mar14).
GoldieBlox have now issued an apology to the group, published in small print at the bottom of their website, admitting they should have contacted the band before deciding to use the song in their advert.
The message reads, "We sincerely apologize for any negative impact our actions may have had on the Beastie Boys. We never intended to cast the band in a negative light and... we understand an artist's desire to have his or her work treated with respect. We should have reached out to the band before using their music in the video.
"We know this is only one of the many mistakes we're bound to make as we grow our business. The great thing about mistakes is how much you can learn from them. As trying as this experience was, we have learned a valuable lesson. From now on, we will secure the proper rights and permissions in advance of any promotions, and we advise that any other young company do the same."
The Beastie Boys have reached a settlement with bosses of a toy company to end a legal battle over their hit track Girls. The rappers became embroiled in a dispute with executives of GoldieBlox last year (13) after accusing them of copyright infringement for featuring a version of the song in a viral advertising video.
The advert featured three children singing alternative lyrics to the track, but GoldieBlox bosses claimed it was a parody and constituted "fair use".
After months of legal manoeuvring, surviving Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond have now reached a settlement with executives at the toy company to bring the legal battle to an end.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Films scored by musicians Ben Gibbard and Adam Horovitz are slated to be screened at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. Hoping that their musical success will follow them into the film industry, former The Postal Service frontman Gibbard and Beastie Boys' MC Horovitz, aka Ad-Rock, they have each created scores for films which will feature at the acclaimed festival in Park City, Utah.
Gibbard scored a dark comedy titled Laggies, starring Keira Knightley and Chloe Grace Moretz, about a woman "content to remain in permanent adolescence."
As for Horovitz, he is the composer behind No No: A Dockumentary, a film telling the true story of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter game while allegedly on acid.
The Sundance Film Festival kicks off on 16 January (14).
Filmmaker Spike Jonze once helped the Beastie Boys write a movie script inspired by the hip-hop trio's music video for 1994 hit Sabotage. The Being John Malkovich director took charge of the rappers' hilarious promo for Sabotage, which served as an homage to, and parody of, hit 1970s crime dramas such as Hawaii Five-O and Starsky and Hutch, but once the video wrapped, they decided to expand the idea into a big screen project, too.
Jonze claims the unreleased script centred around one of the late Adam 'MCA' Yauch's wacky characters, his filmmaker alter ego Nathanial Hornblower, while he also planned to portray Sir Stewart Wallace, another figure from the Sabotage video, in the movie, reports Spin.com.
He says, "The four of us wrote a script together. It was called We Can Do This because... it was so surreal and out there... It just would've been ridiculous and fun... There were no 1970s cops in it, but it was definitely in the same spirit."
Yauch's bandmates also featured in the script, with Michael 'Mike D' Diamond set to bring his country singer persona, Country Mike, to life on the big screen.
And Jonze reveals the songs Diamond recorded for his album Country Mike's Greatest Hits, which he gifted to family and friends for Christmas in 2000, were actually intended for We Can Do This.
He adds, "It was about Hornblower. Mike played a country star - those songs we wrote for the movie, actually. Adam Horovitz played this kid, Nino Vincenzi, who lived on Roosevelt Island (in New York) with his dad who was a mechanic, and (he) was a little bit (like) John Travolta (in) Saturday Night Fever... He had all these dreams and aspirations, but he was awkward and couldn't dance. So he didn't even have that going for him.
"But yeah, I forget all the different characters but... it would have been funny."
Yauch died of cancer in May, 2012.