Beastie Boys seek $2 million from Monster for copyright infringement

Wed Jun 4, 2014 5:39pm EDT
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer for the Beastie Boys on Wednesday urged jurors to make Monster Beverage Corp pay at least $2 million for copyright infringement, saying the energy drink maker used their songs without a license in an online video.

Kevin Puvalowski, the Brooklyn-born band's lawyer, said in closing arguments in a trial in Manhattan federal court that Monster's unauthorized use of its music in a 2012 promotional video was "absolutely egregious."

Beastie Boys members Michael Diamond, or "Mike D," and Adam Horovitz, or "Ad-Rock," sat as spectators in the courtroom as Puvalowski told jurors Monster had hoped to benefit from how "cool" his clients' had become, without their permission.

"They didn't care if their employees were stealing from the Beastie Boys," he said.

Reid Kahn, Monster's lawyer, acknowledged the energy drink maker had infringed the Beastie Boys' copyrights but said it was because an employee thought the company had permission to use the music.

He said the band's demands for damages and claims Monster intended to steal the music to make it look as if the Beastie Boys endorsed the drink were "contrary to common sense."

"The plaintiffs try to take the undisputed evidence and spin some tale of an insidious corporate conspiracy," Kahn said.

Monster has asked jurors to award the band no more than $125,000.   Continued...

Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz, a.k.a. "Ad-Rock,", exits the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Lower Manhattan with his wife punk singer Kathleen Hanna, May 27, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid