Judge: Beastie Boys $1.7M copyright-infringement verdict stands

A federal judge won't dismiss the Beastie Boys' $1.7 million verdict in a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Monster Energy. The company was found to have used the Beastie Boys' music without permission.
By Amy R. Connolly  |  Dec. 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A New York federal judge refused to dismiss the Beastie Boys' $1.7 million verdict against Monster Beverage Corp. after a jury found the energy drink maker illegally used the hip-hop group's music in a promotional video.

U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer agreed with the jury's June decision that Monster "recklessly disregarded the possibility that the video infringed on the Beastie Boys' copyrights and that its infringement therefore was willful."

"An objective observer could easily have concluded that the Beastie Boys, by lending their music and names to the video, were endorsing Monster products," the judge wrote in a 69-page decision.

The four-minute video includes 2012 footage of a snowboarding contest with Beastie Boys music as the soundtrack. The soundtrack includes excerpts from five Beastie Boys songs, including "Pass the Mic," "So Whatcha Want," "Sabotage," "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun," and "Make Some Noise." The video was posted on Monster's website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.

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