Beastie Boys Seek Another $2.4 Million From Monster - Rolling Stone
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Beastie Boys Seek Another $2.4 Million From Monster for Legal Fees

Group claims $1.7 million awarded to them last year failed to cover legal fees in copyright infringement fight against energy drink company

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Adam Yauch (MCA), Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) of the Beastie Boys.

Ron Galella/Getty

The legal beef between the Beastie Boys and Monster over the energy drink company’s unauthorized use of the band’s music will likely head back to the courtroom this year after the band filed another suit asking for $2.4 million more in restitution.

Although a court ruled in favor of the Beastie Boys and a jury awarded them $1.7 million in June 2014, the group claims they lost money after ringing up a large lawyer tab due to Monster’s evasive legal techniques. As a result, the Beasties are asking Monster to shoulder some of that financial burden.

“Monster’s tactics significantly increased the costs for Beastie Boys to vindicate their intellectual property rights, such that, absent an award of attorney’s fees and costs, plaintiff’s success at trial would become a Pyrrhic victory,” the Beastie Boys’ legal team wrote in their legal filing Saturday (via Billboard).

Attorneys for Monster were not immediately available for comment.

After two years of litigation and an eight-day trial, the Beastie Boys accuse Monster in their filing of failing to engage in a good-faith negotiation and then attempting to overturn the verdict, an appeal that accrued even more legal bills for the band.

At the time of the trial, Monster owned up to using snippets of four tracks – “Sabotage,” “So What’cha Want,” Make Some Noise” and “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” – without authorization in a promotional video that was online for five weeks. However, the energy company countered they should only owe the band $125,000 for the tracks’ usage; the Beastie Boys were originally seeking $2.5 million for the copyright infringement.

One of the conditions of the late Adam “MCA” Yauch’s will was that the Beastie Boys could never license their music to endorse products, so the group has come hard after anyone who uses their music commercially without permission (The group successfully sued toy company GoldieBlox for covering the band’s “Girls” in an ad, settling with the company for an undisclosed amount.) Beastie Boys members Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Mike Diamond both testified at the Monster trial, with Horovitz saying after the $1.7 million verdict, “We’re happy. We just want to thank the jury.”

Since the June 2014 verdict, a pair of Universal Records subsidiaries – Capitol Records and Universal-Polygram International Publishing – have also filed their own lawsuit against Monster pertaining to the company’s use of the Beasties music. In that copyright infringement suit, Universal is seeking $1.2 million.

In This Article: Beastie Boys


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