Beastie Boys Fight For Song Rights Against Monster

The groups is seeking $2 million in damages claiming Monster Energy Co. had no right to use their music for promotional content.
Posted at 10:02 PM, May 28, 2014

The Beastie Boys have to fight ... for their right ... to ... not have their tunes played in Monster commercials. (Via Wikimedia Comons / Michael Morel, Flickr / Mike Mozart)

Adam "Ad Rock" Horovitz of the iconic 90s rap group testified in a Manhattan federal court Tuesday stemming from a 2012 lawsuit where the group claims the popular energy drink Monster had no right to use their music in a promotional video. And now the Brooklyn-born band is seeking $2 million in damages. (Via New York Daily News, Columbia Records / Beastie Boys "You Gotta Fight For Your Right")

The focus of the lawsuit is a video called "Ruckus in the Rockies," promoting a snowboarding event Monster created, which previously used a number of Beastie Boys' tracks and even closed with "RIP MCA" – a shout out to deceased band member Adam Yauch. (Via MonsterEnergy Co., Wikimedia Commons / Fabio Venni)

Now, Monster's defense team has already admitted fault on the company's part, but it thinks the payback the Beastie Boys want is way too steep.

A defense lawyer is quoted in Rolling Stone saying it was a "mistake" but thinks the huge $2 million pricetag is "nonsense" and said Monster should pay the group no more than $125 thousand.

The general tone of the courtroom was also a bit odd.

Billboard reports the iconoclast rappers shot a few smirks and grins during defense questioning and it was easy to see the exchanges "touched on the somewhat awkward necessities of dealing with musical culture in a staid court environment." 

But lawsuits like this are kind of familiar territory for the Beastie Boys.

In a similar case back in 2013, the rappers went after GoldieBlox toys for using their 1987 hit "Girls" in this commercial gone viral. 

After an extensive legal battle, the two sides finally settled just two months ago with an undisclosed portion of the company's revenues headed to Beastie Boys' charities. (Via The Hollywood Reporter)