TIME Music

Beastie Boys Cleared in Copyright Lawsuit

The 29th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Ron Galella—WireImage/Getty Images Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, Feb. 24, 1987.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 and concerns sample usage

Another high-profile music copyright lawsuit has come to an end.

A New York judge has thrown out a lawsuit from TufAmerica accusing the Beastie Boys of sampling 1980s funk trio Trouble Funk without authorization on 1989’s Paul’s Boutique, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The judge ruled that TufAmerica, which has sued artists such as Jay Z and LL Cool J over sample usage before, didn’t have the exclusive rights to the two samples in question. After Trouble Funk’s deal with Island Records was terminated, TufAmerica agreed in 1999 to administer copyrights for only two of Trouble Funk’s members; an agreement with the third member was reached in 2012, but the judge ruled that those documents don’t justify TufAmerica’s copyright claim.

“Putting aside the issue of whether the 2012 Agreement and 1999 Agreements can be read together, the 2012 Agreement conveys nothing more than the bare right to sue,” the judge wrote.


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