Surviving Beastie Boys members Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “MIke D” Diamond showed up in a federal courtroom in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday (May 27th) as their lawsuit against Monster Beverage Corporation went to trial. The case centers around a video that the soft drink company used to promote an event called “Ruckus In The Rockies,” just days after the death of Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch in May 2012, which included portions of five Beastie Boys songs without the group’s permission.
- Yauch’s will expressly forbade the use of his music or image in any commercial advertising.
- Horovitz and Diamond were joined in the courtroom by Horovitz’s wife, singer Kathleen Hanna, and Yauch’s widow, Dechen Wangdu.
- Monster’s defense team admitted to using the Beasties’ music without their permission, calling it a “mistake,” but called the prosecution’s claims of $1 million in damages for the songs and another $1 million for the “implied endorsement” of their use in the video were “nonsense.”
- Horovitz eventually took the stand, where he recounted his career for the prosecution and described the trio as “very lucky” for their success.
- Horovitz occasionally smirked and laughed as the lawyers went over the basics of the music business,
- He almost laughed out loud when the defense later brought out a picture of Diamond dressed in a sailor suit for a promotional campaign as evidence that the band members were not above appearing in advertisements.
- The trial is expected to last five or six days and the Beasties seem assured of some kind of financial remuneration, although the amount remains to be seen.