NEW YORK — The maker of the Monster Energy drink must pay $668,000 of the Beastie Boys’ legal fees after the rappers chose to win at all costs in their copyright violation trial, a decision that resulted in a $1.7 million jury verdict in their favor, a judge says.

U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer wrote in a ruling Monday that his review of the legal bills suggests that the “Beastie Boys opted to pay for … the ‘Cadillac Escalade'” of legal representation.

He said his attorney fee award fell well short of the $2.4 million in fees that was sought from Monster Energy Co., but was sizeable enough that the band will come out ahead by more than $532,000 above reasonable costs.

Last June, the Beastie Boys – known in part for the anthem “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” off their 1986 debut album – won their verdict from a federal jury weighing the value of five songs used by Monster without authorization in a video.

Engelmayer wrote that the lawsuit brought by two surviving Beastie Boys and the wife of deceased band member and gravelly voiced rapper Adam “MCA” Yauch resulted in a hard-fought legal match.

“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,” he said.

– From news service reports


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