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Beastie Boys Respond to Sampling Lawsuit

Beastie Boys
Junko Kimura, Getty Images

Back in May, the day before Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch tragically passed away, a lawsuit was filed against the , accusing them of illegally sampling music on 1986’s ‘License to Ill’ and 1989’s ‘Paul’s Boutique.’ The group’s lawyers responded this week, asking the suit to be dismissed.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, TufAmerica claims samples of songs from the group Trouble Funk were used by the Beastie Boys on several songs. So why did the label wait so long to file the suit? Technology has advanced since the ’80s, allowing for more sophisticated analysis of where samples originated.

According to the complaint, TufAmerica says the samples were “effectively concealed” to “the casual listener” and that they were discovered “[o]nly after conducting a careful audio analysis.”

The Beastie Boys responded by saying that shows that their work is different than the songs they are accused of sampling, “Because Plaintiff admits that the casual observer cannot identify Plaintiff’s musical compositions and sound recordings… there can be no substantial similarity.”

That’s a lot of legalese, but the bottom line in layman’s terms is the record label says the Beastie Boys used their songs without permission or payment, while the band says the samples were not recognizable, so you don’t have a claim. The judge will respond to the band’s request to dismiss the suit, although a timetable wasn’t given.

The Beastie Boys’ legal team has been busy lately. The band and the estate of Yauch recently sued Monster Energy for the unauthorized use of their music in a recent promotional campaign.

Next: 10 Beastie Boys Songs That Rock

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