Huffington Post informs that the hip hop band Beastie Boys was sued over copyright infringement on May 3. The charges came at a very inappropriate time as their colleague, Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away the next day.
Beastie Boys is going through a rough period. The band was first sued for allegedly infringing the copyrights of the hip-hop and R&B label Tuf America. The next day, they found out that their friend and band colleague, Adam Yauch passed away after a long battle with cancer. Some fans were hoping that the accusations would be dropped now that the Beastie Boys have lost one of their members, but Tuf America’s reps announced that they will continue the case.
The lawsuit was made in relation to the band’s albums “Licensed to Ill” and “Paul’s Boutique”. According to Tuf America, Beastie Boys got their inspiration for “Hold It Now Hit It” and “The New Style” from Trouble Funk’s 1982 song, “Drop the Bomb”. Moreover, the R&B label claims that the band used bits from Funk’s “Say What” to create “Shadrach” from the album, “Paul’s Boutique”.
According to the press release, Capitol Records will also take part in the case as the defendant. Even though they seem to have planned everything to the smallest details, there are voices saying that Beastie Boys might still win the case. According to these statements, the accusations that Tuf makes are based on laws that were passed after the albums had been released. “License to Ill” and “Paul’s Boutique” were released in 1986 and 1989, respectively, whereas the copyright rules have been adopted in the 90s.
Matty Yglesias tried to defend the hip hop band by saying that the boys wouldn’t have released “Paul’s Boutique” if the current rules had been valid in 1989. In fact, it would have been impossible to secure the album anyway because it is made out of 300 samples, a number that is too big for the modern music industry.
Yauch passed away on May 4 after numerous attempts to defeat the salivary gland cancer he was suffering from since 2009. Several musicians have included Beastie Boys songs in their performances to pay homage to the fallen legend.