Shalom Life | May 26, 2015

Beastie Boys Sued on the Same Day as MCA’s Death

The hip-hop group was served with a lawsuit just hours before Adam Yauch passed away.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: May 9th, 2012 in Culture » Music » News

Beastie Boys Sued on the Same Day as MCA’s Death

This could go down in history as the lawsuit that was served at the worst possible time. Sure, the Beastie Boys have dealt with lawsuits in the past. Most artists have. But this new lawsuit, served by TufAmerica, comes at a time when the band has better things to focus their attentions and emotions on… the loss of great friend, Adam Yauch.

On May 3rd, the band Trouble Funk filed papers against Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock), Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Yauch (MCA), accusing the Beastie Boys of stealing and illegally using parts of their tracks on albums released in the 1980’s. Within hours of receiving the suit, Adam Yauch died of salivary gland cancer.

Although TufAmerica, representing Trouble Funk, are aware of Yauch’s passing, they have decided not to withdraw their lawsuit.

TufAmerica claims that the Beastie Boys on their albums Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique sampled Trouble Funk’s tracks. Apparently, suing a band 25 years after the fact, is more important than allowing remaining members to mourn the loss of a best friend of decades.

But TufAmerica claims the news isn’t decades old. They’ve managed to find a loophole to the U.S copyright law that claims an artist must file a lawsuit within 3 years of release. TufAmerica alleges to have only learned of the copyright infringement recently, and that due to new technologies, they were able to dissect the Beastie Boys albums to pinpoint the illegal samplings.

TufAmerica is seeking punitive damages and a permanent injunction forbidding the Beastie Boys from selling recordings that contain Trouble Funk’s samples.

On a more positive note, the Beastie Boys debut album, 1986’s License to Ill, is back on the Billboard Top 20 since MCA’s death.

There has been no comment from the Beastie Boys camp regarding the lawsuit. Probably because they have more important things on their minds at the moment.

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