NEW YORK — The Beastie Boys have some more money in their pockets today. They have won $1.7 million in a copyright lawsuit against beverage company Monster Energy.
The band sought up to $2.5 million for Monster's use of the group's music in a promotional video, according to Reuters. Monster said the maximum it owed was $125,000, calling the case "illogical." Monster admitted that it had infringed the group's copyrights, but that an employee believed the company had permission to use the music.
The claims were initiated in 2012, following the death of band member Adam "MCA" Yauch. The music used in the promotional video was taken from footage of a live set at a Monster-sponsored festival, by DJ Z-Trip.
According to the legal opinion on the case, a Monster employee had assumed consent when he emailed Z-Trip a draft of the video that used Z-Trip's Beastie Boys megamix. Z-Trip replied, "Dope!," which the employee interpreted as the company having permission to use the video and the music within it. Therefore, a large portion of the trail was spent on discussing the meaning of the word "dope," and if it legally gave Monster permission to use the Beastie Boys' music.
On Thursday, the New York City jury decided that Monster did not have legal permission. But, according to Reid Kahn, attorney for Monster, the energy drink company plans to file an appeal.
"Although Monster Energy has great respect for the verdict of the jury, we strongly disagree with it," said Kahn, to Rolling Stone. "We will make an application to the Court to set aside the verdict and we intent 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."
Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, a member of the hip-hop group, said after the trial, "We're very happy. We just want to thank the jury."
And Z-Trip appropriately told the Rolling Stone, "dope!"