Iconic rap crew the Beastie Boys have reportedly filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against popular energy drink company Monster over the unauthorized usage of their music in an online marketing campaign.
According to the new lawsuit, Monster used their sounds for multiple viral promotions.
Underscoring the zealousness with which musicians are taking to protect their recordings and brand image, the group’s attorneys filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York on Tuesday, claiming the beverage maker used their music in promos including a video for an event called Ruckus in the Rockies, where their compositions and recordings were used for more than three minutes. They also claim Beastie Boys were used in a video posted on Monster’s website and in social media, and that Monster linked to an MP3 with a 23-minute medley of the group’s music. The video and MP3 were in turn posted to other sites, like Snowboardmag.com. (Variety)
The Beastie Boys are now seeking to gain big bucks from the hefty legal matter.
By featuring the name Beastie Boys in text, as well as the name of Adam Yauch, the founding member of the group who died on May 4, Monster’s promotions gave the impression that the group gave their permission, the suit states. It claims that the videos were posted on or about May 9. The suit claims copyright infringement and violation of the Latham Act, which governs trademarks and endorsement. It also cites violation of New York’s civil rights law. It seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction, as well as statutory damages of $150,000 for each infringement of their works. (Variety)
To make matters worse for Monster, late member Adam “MCA” Yauch’s estate reportedly claims his likeness cannot be used in any form of advertising.
As reported yesterday, in a particularly badass move, Adam Yauch’s will states that he does not want his likeness or art used in conjunction with advertising. It’s likely that piece of information came to light as a result of this legal filing, stamped August 8. One point in the suit states, “On information and belief, text contained in the Video includes the name ‘Beastie Boys’ and the legal or professional name of Yauch.” (SPIN)
Last May, rap star Eminem paid homage to MCA after he passed away from medical complications.
Eminem noted the impact MCA and the Beasties had on his career. “Adam Yauch brought a lot of positivity into the world and I think it’s obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others,” Em said in a statement to MTV News. “They are trailblazers and pioneers and Adam will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, Mike D., and Ad-Rock.” (MTV)