Fight for their right: Beastie Boys win $2m

BERNARD ZUEL
Last updated 11:52 06/06/2014
Adam
Reuters
NOT ENDORSING DRINK: The Beastie Boys' Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz

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Any doubt about the fact that the Beastie Boys as a music-making and touring outfit would not survive the death of Adam (MCA) Yauch has been erased.

The two surviving members of the New York trio who helped bust hip-hop into the mainstream internationally, Michael (Mike D) Diamond and Adam (Ad-Rock) Horovitz, made it clear this week that the Beastie Boys are no more.

In a statement to a New York court, hearing a dispute over unlicensed use of one of their songs, Diamond and Horovitz said: "We have not been able to tour since MCA, Adam Yauch, died. We can't make new music."

According to reports, Diamond told the court that shortly before Yauch died of cancer in May 2012 - a year after the eighth Beastie Boys album, Hot Source Committee pt 2, was released - he and Horovitz told Yauch that they would never make any music without him.

It was on behalf of all three members, who had known each other since school in the 1980s, that action was taken against Monster Beverage  over the use of some of the Beastie Boys' music in an advertisement for  its energy drink.

The band, which was famous for resisting the large and growing trend of licensing music in advertising or films as a lucrative source of income, sued the beverage company for using remixes of Beastie Boys songs while promoting a snowboarding competition run by the company.

The band's lawyer told the jury that the company's use of Sabotage, So Watcha Want, Make Some Noise without permission "stole the Beastie Boys' right to say no", something acknowledged by the company, which didn't contest the fact copyright had been infringed.

What was in contention was how much would the company pay for that breach. Its suggestion of US$125,000 compensation was rejected with the band seeking US$2.5 million. The jury in the end awarded the Beastie Boys US$1.7 million (NZ$2 million).

"We're happy," Horovitz said after the hearing. "We just want to thank the jury."

In an unrelated, but yet appropriate celebration of Yauch's music, life and support for Tibetan freedom and Buddhism, four Tibetan monks were filmed breakdancing to the Beastie Boys in New York last month, on the anniversary of his death.

 

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