Monster Beverage has been ruled against in the copyright lawsuit filed by Beastie Boys Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Roc” Horovitz. And in true Beastie fashion, the word use of the word “dope” was considered in all its legal weight during the lawsuit’s proceedings.
According to a Rolling Stone article, the trouble started when Monster Energy used audio of a few Beastie Boys tracks in a video spot. The audio clips came from live footage of a performance by DJ Z-Trip during Ruckus in the Rockies, a Canadian music festival sponsored by Monster Energy.
The festival took place days after Adam “MCA” Yauch’s death in May of this year. According to Rolling Stone, a Monster Employee sent DJ Z-Trip a roughcut of a video featuring audio from the dj’s Beastie Boys sampling performance. The employee took Z-Trip’s response of “Dope!” to mean that Monster Energy had permission to use the audio. The company put together a 23 minute mix of the audio to be amde available for dowload on its website, in addition the promotional video. Yauch’s living will states that no Beastie Boys music can ever be used for advertisements, so Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond filed suit against Monster Energy for copyright infringement and false endorsement and won.
According to the court, the word “dope,” in the context it was used by Z-trip, did constitute any sort of binding agreement or granting of permission to use the audio for Monster promotions.
Monster Energy will appeal the verdict of the lawsuit. This court decision comes after a undisclosed settlement between Diamond and Horovitz and toy company Goldieblox over its use of the band’s song “Girls” in ads.
And in the midst of the controversy over corporate abuse of Beastie Boys copyright, it came to light during the Monster suit proceedings that Diamond and Horovitz won’t continue making music.