Fluid Thoughts Blog: No Sleep Till Acquittal

Can Monster rise above Beastie Boys' lawsuit?

Published in CSP Daily News

By
Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor

Fluid Thoughts Blog: Monster vs. Beastie Boys

CORONA, Calif. -- Three days after being accused of unlawfully using music by rap group the Beastie Boys in a promotional video, Monster Beverage Corp. is claiming innocence.

The Beastie Boys--Mike D, Ad-Rock and the estate of the late Adam “MCA” Yauch--sued Monster Beverage Corp. on Tuesday, claiming that Monster tried to create “an association” with the musical group by using a number of their songs in a promotional video without licensing the music. The musicians are seeking unspecified damages, alleging copyright infringement and a host of other intellectual property violations.

Monster Beverage, in a statement, said, it believed it had obtained the rights to use the music. At worst, the company is guilty of a "good-faith mistake."

The beverage maker, it seems, would have liked to quietly settle the dispute and certainly "has no intention of litigating this matter in the media."

But since the case has now received publicity--much of it in the form of bad plays on Beastie Boy lyrics (my headline included)--Monster released a statement on Thursday to "let the public know the facts as we see them."

"The video recounted a snowboarding event in Canada that Monster sponsored where the after party featured many Beastie Boys songs played by the DJs in honor of the recent death of one of the Beastie Boys’ members," Monster stated. "The music that Monster used was provided by one of the DJs, who told Monster he had permission. When Monster was notified by the Beastie Boys that the company was mistaken in its belief that it had the proper authorization, Monster immediately removed the video from the Internet.

"The video received less than 14,000 views during the brief period it was online. This lawsuit is solely about what, if anything, Monster must pay to the Beastie Boys because of Monster’s good faith mistake. In Monster’s view, the Beastie Boys are demanding sums that are far beyond any reasonable fair market value."

What kind of world do we live in when a corporation can't accept a DJ's word as binding?

At any rate, the lawsuit went to trial in Manhattan on Tuesday. In the meantime, we'll wait it out to see if Monster was rhymin' or stealin'.

By Steve Holtz, Online News Director & Beverage Editor
View More Articles By Steve Holtz