In an age where record sales no longer pay the bills and music licensing is the only real way for an artist to make a living, it is admirable to find out that late Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, took the time to put in his will that he prohibits the use of any of the Beastie Boys songs to be used for any and all advertising purposes. It takes a true artists to refuse that type of cash, keeping in mind that corporations would pay bank to stick “Fight for Your Right” into a beer commercial. Nonetheless, there are some companies that just don’t give a fuck, like Monster Energy Drink. Apparently, Monster used the group’s music and likeness in promotions for one of its events called Ruckus in the Rockies without the Boys’ permission. Their attorneys are now suing the energy drink maker to the tune of $150,000 in damages for each infringement made on the 26 songs named in the lawsuit. Variety also reported that:
“[The group’s attorneys] also claim Beastie Boys were used in a video posted on Monster’s website and in social media, and that Monster linked to an MP3 with a 23-minute medley of the group’s music. The video and MP3 were in turn posted to other sites, like Snowboardmag.com.”
Of course, the people over at Monster have refused to comment on any of this.
However, there is another, less obvious, issue at hand. The Brooklyn Nets have released a promotional commercial for the new basketball team that ends with the tagline “Hello Brooklyn,” presumably after the Beastie Boys song with the same title (which precedes the “2.0” version by Jay-Z and Lil Wayne on American Gangster). You can’t really put a copyright on the greeting or salutation in this case, but everyone really knows who made it a hot line and a hot song FIRST.
MCA put it best in, “Putting Shame in Your Game” when he says, “I might stick around or I might be a fad, but I won’t sell my songs for no TV ad.” Well, he definitely stuck around, and even after his death he is still fighting for his rights.