Entertainment Litigation Blog: Beastie Boys Sued For Illegal Sampling

 

HIP-HOP LABEL FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST GROUP DAY BEFORE MCA LOSES FIGHT WITH CANCER

Beastie BoysAdam "MCA" Rauch co-founded the "Beastie Boys" hip hop group with Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz. Together the trio enjoyed tremendous success, selling over 40 million records, having #1 albums and being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year. MCA was too ill with cancer to attend that induction ceremony. On May 4, 2012, MCA lost his battle and died at his New York home.

In timing that can charitably be called "unfortunate," hip hop label Tuff City Music Group (TufAmerica) filed suit against MCA and the other Beastie Boys, and their various record labels, the day before MCA died. Filed in federal court in New York City, the lawsuit claims that the Beastie Boys illegally "sampled" passages from two songs from the group "Trouble Funk" and incorporated them into four Beastie Boys songs, including songs on the Beastie Boys' 1986 debut album, "Licensed to Ill" (the album cover is depicted on the right).

After the jump, I'll summarize what I suspect will be key issues in the case and discuss the controversy concerning the timing of the suit.

 

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