Lifestyle & Belief

Beastie Boys sued over copyright infringement


The Beastie Boys arrive at the 11th Annual Webby Awards at Chipriani Wall Street on June 5, 2007 in New York City.


Bryan Bedder

According to The Guardian, the Beastie Boys are being sued for allegedly using parts of two songs by the band Trouble Funk without permission.

The lawsuit papers were filed just one day before the death of Adam Yauch.

The lawsuit brought by Tuf America, the company that represents Trouble Funk, alleges two of the band's songs, 'Drop the Bomb' and 'Say What,' both issued in 1982, were sampled repeatedly by Beastie Boys in the late 80s.

The lawsuit alleges the Beastie Boys never declared the samples had been used and, according to The Guardian, accuse the group of "purposely concealing the integration" of Trouble Funk's original music. "Only after conducting a careful audio analysis of Shadrach,"Tuf America wrote, "[were we] able to determine that Shadrach incorporates the Say What sample."

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According to the Chicago Tribune, "Tuf America is seeking unspecified damages, including punitive and exemplary damages, plus an accounting to determine restitution, court costs, attorneys' fees, and an injunction preventing the defendants from infringing on the copyrighted material."

The entire case hinges on laws that were passed after both albums were released, possibly making the case null and void, according to The Huffington Post. also noted this isn't the first time the Beastie Boys have sampled a track. In fact, they say the Beastie Boys album 'Paul's Boutique' could not be produced under today's copyright laws. Slate estimates the album samples from over 300 different tracks, most of which probably went unlicensed. 

Tuf America has apologized for the untimely manner of the suit. The label's attorney, Kelly Talcott, told E! News today, "I was very sorry to hear of Adam Yauch's untimely passing, and can assure you that the unfortunate timing of the filing of TufAmerica's complaint had nothing to do with his health. On behalf of myself and TufAmerica, I offer our condolences to Adam's family, friends, and fans."

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