Beastie Boys received $668,000 from Monster to cover legal fees. According to the New York Times, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer ordered the energy drink company to pay restitution after the Beasties ”opted to pay for, and received, the Cadillac Escalade, not the Honda Civic” of legal representation. This comes after The Beastie Boys were awarded $1.7 million in June 2014 after a judge ruled that Monster Energy had violated copyright law to make consumers believe that the legendary rap group endorsed their project.
Six months later after the win in June 2014, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond issued a new $2.4 million lawsuit claiming that Monster refused to engage in good-faith negotiations and used other tactics to deliberately drive up the cost of litigation, resulting in what the Beasties’ lawyers referred to as a Pyrrhic victory. Monster has appealed that lawsuit. The Beasties said that they’d actually lost money on the Monster trial, despite winning the $1.7 million suit. After Engelmayer reviewed The Beasties’ bills, he ruled that the band would still come out with more than a $500,000 surplus following the $668,000 reward.
This case has been an on-going legal battle that originated when Monster posted a 23-minute medley of Beastie Boys songs mixed by DJ Z-Trip in a video recapping an after party for their “Ruckus In The Rockies” snowboarding competition in Canada. The promotional mix featured five Beasties songs — “Sabotage,” “Pass the Mic,” “Make Some Noise,” “So What’cha Want” and “Looking Down the Barrel Of a Gun.” The lawsuit was issued in August 2012, just months following the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch. In Yauch’s will, he strongly states that the group never license their music to endorse products.