Ad-Rock Testifies For The Beastie Boys vs. Monster Beverage

Posted 28 May 2014 in News

Adam Yauch aka MCA from the Beastie Boys tragically passed away in 2012 after battling cancer.  One thing that MCA always said was that after he dies he doesn’t want to have any of his music used in any kind of ad or commercial.  You would think that this would be a simple enough rule to abide by and the surviving Beasties are doing their best to honor Yauch’s wishes.  Unfortunately there are other parties out there not respecting his wishes which has led to Ad-Rock testifying in a lawsuit filed against Monster Beverage.

Beastie Boys Lawsuit

Beastie Boys

Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horovitz took the stand during the first day of the trial.  Here’s what happened that lead to the suit being filed in the first place.  Billboard reported that Monster posted a video from a snowboarding event that they had sponsored.  DJ Z-Trip was working the event and the video which is titled ‘Ruckus in the Rockies’ features music from his Beastie Boys megamix.  Unfortunately for Monster that megamix included parts from some of the Beastie Boys most classic songs.  Songs including, ‘Sabotage’, ‘Pass the mic’, ‘Make some Noise’, ‘So What’cha Want’, and ‘Looking down the Barrel of a Gun’ all made their way into the video.  This is the issue at hand in the lawsuit.

Beastie Boys Ad Rock

Ad-Rock and MCA

On the stand Ad-Rock recounted various aspects of their recording career and explained the process that the Beasties used to create some of the songs.  Songs which Ad-Rock referred to as “very important to our catalog.”  The gist of the discussion was about how MCA did not want his music used in ads.  When the defense took their turn they challenged this position asserting that the Beastie Boys statement of never licensing their work is flat out untrue and they referred to a watch promotional campaign that featured Mike D. in a sailor suit.  When asked if the person in the picture was indeed Mike D.  Horovitz smiled at the lawyer and answered “He sure is”.

Mike D

Mike D

Since the case went public and is now getting noticed online Monster decided they had better release some kind of statement.  Here is what they had to say.

Monster has no intention of litigating this matter in the media, but since the case has now received publicity we felt we should let the public know the facts as we see them. Monster in good faith believed it had obtained the rights to use a compilation of certain Beastie Boys music for an Internet video. The video recounted a snowboarding event in Canada that Monster sponsored where the after party featured many Beastie Boys songs played by the DJs in honor of the recent death of one of the Beastie Boys’ members. The music that Monster used was provided by one of the DJs [Z-Trip], who told Monster he had permission. When Monster was notified by the Beastie Boys that the company was mistaken in its belief that it had the proper authorization, Monster immediately removed the video from the Internet. The video received less than 14,000 views during the brief period it was online. This lawsuit is solely about what, if anything, Monster must pay to the Beastie Boys because of Monster’s good faith mistake. In Monster’s view the Beastie Boys are demanding sums that are far beyond any reasonable fair market value.

Beastie Boys MCA

Beastie Boys MCA

We’ll have to wait and see what happens next and what kind of money is paid out.  Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted with any updates.

Source: Billboard and Loudwire


Dave has been eating, living, and breathing music since before he could talk. This makes Dave perfect for his role here at Guitar News Daily.

1 Comment

  1. […] week we reported on the lawsuit filed by the Beastie Boys against the Monster Energy Drink company for copyright infringement for the use of some of their […]

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