Copyright Suits: Beastie Boys Lose The Right To Say ‘No’
WHEN Adam Yauch passed away, his fellow Beastie Boys were told, in no uncertain terms, that they should respect his legacy by never allowing their music to be used in advertisements.
And so, the Beasties are now taking on the Monster Energy drinks company over music used for commercial purposes.
So what’s happening? Adam Horovitz and Mike D appeared in a New York court to demand in advance of $2 million from Monster after they used ‘Sabotage’, ‘Make Some Noise’ and ‘So What’cha Want’ as the soundtrack for a video commemorating a snowboarding competition called ‘Ruckus in the Rockies’.
Monster have held their hands up and said that they used the Beasties’ music without permission, and offered to pay out $125,000 by way of apology – a figure that Ad-Rock and Diamond say is not nearly enough. They want $1 million for use of the songs and a further million for “implied endorsement.”
Well, Monster’s lawyer, Reid Kahn, told the jury that they “technically did violate the copyright”, but only because an employee thought permission to use the music had been granted. “In this case, it turns out to have been a mistake.”
Paul Garrity, lawyer for the Beastie Boys, said: “It stole the Beastie Boys’ right to say no.”
The Beastie Boys, of course, don’t need the money and are stamping their authority by asking for more than necessary, in a bid to show everyone else that their music is not to be trifled with. This could set a precedent for other bands to take similar action, in a bid to stop marketing companies and wealthy businesses from flouting band’s rights.
Should the Beasties win, you imagine they’ll give the proceeds to charity and win the moral highground and honour MCA’s legacy two-fold.