Beastie Boys Seek Dismissal of Sampling Lawsuit

Go-go group says rappers used their music on 'License to Ill,' 'Paul's Boutique'

November 29, 2012 11:35 AM ET
beastie boys
Adam Horowitz 'Ad-Rock' and Michael Diamond 'Mike D' of the Beastie Boys
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

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.

Beastie Boys' Adam 'MCA' Yauch Through the Years

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."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »