Beastie Boys Seek Dismissal of Sampling Lawsuit

Rolling Stone

The Beastie Boys are calling for dismissal of a lawsuit filed by go-go band Trouble Funk, which claims the rappers illegally used samples of the band's music on their first two records Licesnsed to Ill and Paul's Boutique, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Trouble Funk's label TufAmerica filed the lawsuit in May, a day before the death of co-founder Adam Yauch, which delayed the suit. TufAmerica alleges copyright infringement, unjust enrichment and misappropriation; the label seeks punitive damages and a permanent injunction on the sale of the two records containing the samples.

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In their response to the suit, the Beastie Boys deny that there's any "substantial similarity" between their tracks and Trouble Funk's, and question the 20-plus year gap between the release of the records and the lawsuit. 

In their claim, TufAmerica argued that samples are "concealed . . . [to] the casual listener" and could only be heard "after conducting a careful audio analysis." The Beastie Boys responded: "Because Plaintiff admits that the casual observer cannot identify Plaintiff's musical compositions and sound recordings . . . there can be no substantial similarity."

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