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Beastie Boys Request $2.5 Million to Cover Legal Fees from Copyright Lawsuit

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The Beastie Boys​ won their fight against Monster Energy Drink​ for using their songs without permission, and now they want ​their lawyer fees, the New York Post said.

Seven months after a Manhattan federal jury sided with the Brooklyn-based rap icons by awarding them $1.7 million off a copyright-infringement lawsuit, the group’s attorneys are now asking the California-based energy drink company to shell out another $2.5 million to cover their firm’s legal fees in the case, the report said.

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“Monster failed to engage in good faith negotiations to resolve this m​​atter and repeatedly sought to increase the cost of ultimately litigating this matter, ” a team of four lawyers from the Manhattan firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton LLP wrote in legal filings Saturday, according to the Post.

The Beastie Boys sued Monster for sampling five of the group’s songs — including its 1994 megahit “Sabotage” — without their consent for a 2012 promotional video pushing the company’s caffeine-filled drink through an event called “Ruckus in the Rockies”, the Post said.

A jury sided with the surviving members, Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond, and the wife of the late Adam “MCA” Yauch by awarding them $1.7 million — $1.2 million for unauthorized use of the songs and $500, 000 after finding Monster liable for false endorsement, the report said.

One of the group’s lawyers, Kenneth Anderson, said the firm and its associates performed 4, 227 hours of work on the case at a “reduced” rate that ranged from $675 to $840 depending on each lawyer’s rates. The $2.5 million request included nearly $100, 000 in expenses the firm said it shelled out representing the Beastie Boys, the Post said.

The band, which has a long history of not endorsing products, also wasn’t pleased the video tried to profit off Yauch’s death by including the words “RIP MCA” at the end of the credits. Yauch had died days before the event, at age 47, after a three-year battle with salivary gland cancer, the report said.

Yauch’s will prohibits any company from using the group’s music for advertisements, Rolling Stone reported.


Monster has admitted wrongdoing but believes it should be liable for no more than $125, 000, based on the video’s viewership. The company says only about 13, 000 viewers saw the four-minute video before it was pulled off YouTube, according to the Post.

Monster’s lawyers did not immediately return messages on Monday. However, the lawyers Friday filed legal papers urging Judge Paul Engelmayer to deny an injunction request by the Beastie Boys, saying Monster already removed the video and has no plans to ever show it again, the report said.

The rap icons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. They have produced four No. 1 albums, AP said.



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