Beastie Boys Receive $668,000 From Monster for Legal Bills
Beastie Boys‘ long-running legal battle against Monster Energy may finally be nearing conclusion after the judge overseeing the case ruled that the energy drink company must pay the Ill Communication group an additional $668,000 to cover legal fees. The group had been seeking $2.4 million, but after reviewing their bills, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled that the band would still come out ahead by more than $500,000 following this latest decision. According to the New York Times, Engelmayer wrote that the Beasties “opted to pay for, and received, the Cadillac Escalade, not the Honda Civic” of legal representation.
The Beastie Boys were awarded $1.7 million in June 2014 after a federal jury ruled that Monster infringed on the group’s copyright and that the energy drink makers misled consumers into thinking that the Beastie Boys endorsed the product.
However, six months later, the Beastie Boys filed another lawsuit asking that Monster pay restitution for the $2.4 million in legal fees that the band had accrued in the original court battle and Monster’s subsequent efforts to appeal the verdict. The Beasties argued in January that they’d actually lost money on the Monster trial, despite their initial $1.7 million award.
The trial stems from an incident where Monster posted a 23-minute medley of Beastie Boys songs mixed by DJ Z-Trip as a MP3 download and promotional video on their website without the Beasties’ permission; the Beastie Boys filed their lawsuit against Monster in August 2012, just months following the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch.
One of the conditions in Yauch’s will was that the group never license their music to endorse products, and the Beastie Boys have come hard at any company that violates that wish.
“Presiding over trial and hearing the surviving Beastie Boys’ testimony, it was apparent to the court that this case had great personal significance to them,” Engelmayer wrote in his decision. “Monster’s commercial exploitation of the band’s music and songs, and what the Beastie Boys perceived as Monster’s crass misappropriation of the name of the recently deceased Yauch in its video promoting its energy drinks, appeared to have deeply offended plaintiffs.”