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Beastie Boys Battle Sampling Lawsuit

Written by Marc Zanotti on November 30, 2012

The Beastie Boys are attempting to get a lawsuit dropped that was brought against them by record label TufAmerica. Filing the lawsuit one day before the passing of Beastie Boy member Adam Yauch, TufAmerica are attempting to sue the Beastie Boys for sampling 80’s R&B act Trouble Funk’s tracks Say What and Drop the Bomb.

As reported by NME, the lawsuit claims that the Beastie Boys used the Trouble Funk samples in The New Style and Hold It, Now Hit It from their 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill, and in Car Thief and Shadrach from the hip hop group’s 1989 sophomore record Paul’s Boutique.

As reported by The Guardian, surviving Beastie Boys members Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond claim that there isn’t “substantial similarity” between the songs. TufAmerica concedes that the samples are “concealed … [to] the casual listener” and are only noticeable “after conducting a careful audio analysis”.

However, TufAmerica are still attempting to sue for copyright infringement, unjust enrichment and misappropriation. Furthermore, TufAmerica have requested that there be a ‘permanent injunction on the sale of records containing Trouble Funk samples’ and are seeking punitive damages.

The Beastie Boys want the lawsuit to be dismissed, citing that the “Plaintiff is attempting to sidestep the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations.”

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