A lawyer for the Beastie Boys filed suit in Manhattan on Tuesday against Monster Energy Drink for alleged copyright infringement. As SPIN reports, the claim alleges that Monster Energy Drink “willfully, maliciously, and oppressively” used portions of Beastie Boys songs in various promos and three-minute-plus videos to promote an event called Ruckus in the Rockies. 26 total songs were listed as being unlawfully used in various videos appearing on websites associated with the event, including “So Whatcha’ Want”, “Looking Down The Barrel of a Gun” and “Sabatoge”.
Text that accompanied the songs also unlawfully implied Beastie Boys’ complicity, with one blurb saying in regards to the DJ Z-Trip Beastie Boys Mega Mix, ”With tracks from the Beastie Boys putting you in the vibe and a sponsorship from Monster Energy, this edit will make you want to ride and party like no other.”
It’s worth noting that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the event Monster was promoting, Ruckus in the Rockies, was held on May 5th, the day after the death of Beastie Boys founding member Adam Yauch. DJ Z-Trip headlined a party at the event and reportedly paid a tribute to The Beastie Boys at the event. The infringing material is alleged to have been posted around May 9th.
The suit seeks a permanent injunction, as well as statutory damages of $150,000 for each infringement of their works.
This suit comes right after the news that founding member Adam Yauch– who died in May after a long battle with cancer — stated in his will that “In no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes” (via Rolling Stone).