Beastie Boys Ask For Sampling Lawsuit To Be Dropped

The rappers are being sued by 1980s band Trouble Funk.

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The surviving members of the Beastie Boys have asked for a lawsuit which alleges that they illegally sampled 1980's outfit Trouble Funk's "Say What" and "Drop The Bomb" on four of their early tunes, to be dropped.

The suit alleges that "Shadrach" and "Car Thief" from the Beasties' second album "Paul's Boutique" and the tracks "Hold It, Now Hit It" and "The New Style" from their debut record "Licensed To Ill" illegally use samples from Trouble Funk's tracks "Say What" and "Drop The Bomb".

NME reports that the rappers have denied that there is any "substantial similarity" between the songs and also question the lengthy gap between the release of the albums and the lawsuit.

The band's lawyers wrote: "Plaintiff is attempting to sidestep the Copyright Act's three-year statute of limitations."

They added that the case should be dropped as the plaintiff has admitted that the samples are concealed and not obvious to the casual listener.

The Beastie Boys were hit with the lawsuit the day before Adam 'MCA' Yauch died earlier this year. Yauch was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and succumbed to the disease on May 4, aged 47.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I thought sampling was completely legal to a point, like, MTV using Peace Sells as the news theme, but never having to pay because they only used a little bit of it. Or am I wrong?
    also a recent Mercedes/Volkswagen (dont remember which)ad using the first little lick from Layla as well
    Well, if it's a few brief seconds and the product isn't music, I think it's ok. So, if a tv show uses a 5 second clip of Peace Sells, it isn't like they're using it to make more music. If you sample any section of a song for about ten seconds and loop it, how's it going to sound different from the original? If I sample the first 5 seconds of "The Ocean," I've basically stolen the entire song.
    I'm not saying this to bog anything down. I'm just saying all popular music relies on repetition.