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Monster ordered to pay Beastie Boys another $668,000

By | Published on Wednesday 17 June 2015

Beastie Boys

A New York judge has told the makers of the Monster energy drink to pay the Beastie Boys another $668,000 towards the legal costs the rap group ran up during their legal dispute with the drinks brand.

As previously reported, a jury last year awarded the Beastie Boys $1.7 million after Monster used their music in a promotional video without permission. The drinks brand admitted that it had infringed the rappers’ copyrights, but disputed the high levels of damages the rappers sought.

For their part, the Beastie Boys argued that they never allowed their music to be used in adverts, and so would never have granted permission had they been asked. They also felt that Monster was capitalising on the then recent death of their bandmate Adam Yauch.

With Monster having failed to successfully appeal that ruling, the Beastie Boys decided to add insult to injury by requesting the drinks firm pay their massive $2.4 million legal bill.

While the judge hearing the case was sympathetic in principle to the rap outfit’s request for legal costs to be paid, he was quick to note that $2.4 million was huge sum of money for a case of this kind, adding that the claimants had chosen to go the ‘Cadillac Escalade’ litigation route, rather than taking the ‘Honda Civic’ option.

To that end he didn’t feel Monster could be expected to meet the rappers’ legal costs in their entirety, though nevertheless awarded them $668,000, still significantly more than you’d expect.

All in all, it’s makes that one promo video, pulled from the net as soon as the copyright infringement claim was made, an incredible expense for Monster. As previously reported, evidence presented in the original court case showed that the drinks brand did very little due diligence in clearing the rights to use the Beastie Boys tracks, assuming that the DJ who mixed the video’s soundtrack calling the final edit “DOPE” constituted permission.