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October 31, 2014

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Beastie Boys rapper testifies in case vs. Monster

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AP Photo/Larry Neumeister

Beastie Boys rapper Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz leaves federal court in Manhattan with his wife Kathleen Hanna after testifying at a copyright trial stemming from a lawsuit his musical group brought against a beverage maker over the use of five of their songs in a video, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in New York.

NEW YORK — A Beastie Boys rapper says the legendary hip-hop group would never license songs to endorse commercial products.

Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz testified in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday. He was called as the first witness in a lawsuit the group filed against Monster Energy Co., a beverage maker. The lawsuit claims copyright infringement and unfair competition and seeks more than $2 million in damages.

A lawyer for the Corona, California-based company told the jury that Monster Energy "technically did violate the copyright." But the attorney, S. Reid Kahn, said the company should only owe the band between $93,000 and $125,000 for five weeks when the video was online. He said the video had fewer than 14,000 views.

Horovitz is to return to the stand Wednesday.

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