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Beastie Boys Lawsuit: Group Sued Over Alleged Copyright Infringement On 'Licensed To Ill' & 'Paul's Boutique'

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The Beastie Boys were hit with a lawsuit one day before Adam
The Beastie Boys were hit with a lawsuit one day before Adam "MCA" Yauch passed away.

Today in really unfortunate timing: The Beastie Boys have been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over samples used on Licensed to Ill and Paul's Boutique.

The suit was filed on May 3, the day before Adam "MCA" Yauch passed away. It's obviously extremely unfortunate timing, but hip-hop and R&B label Tuf America is going forward with the case, according to AllHipHop.

Tuf takes issue with a number of the Boys' songs. The suit alleges that "Hold It Now Hit It" and "The New Style" (both off Licensed to Ill) illegally sampled "Drop the Bomb," a 1982 song by Trouble Funk.

The label also claims the Beasties used bits of Funk's "Say What" for "Shadrach," off Paul's.

Capitol Records is also named as a defendant in the suit. There's one big problem with the case -- Tuf is banking on laws that were passed after the release of both albums. The relevant copyright rulings weren't in place until the early '90s, and License to Ill and Paul's Boutique were released in 1986 and 1989, respectively.

Writing on Slate, Matty Yglesias made the argument that an album like Paul's Boutique could never be made under today's copyright and case law. The album is thought to have as many as 300 samples, many that would have been near impossible to secure in today's music industry.

Yauch passed away on May 4 after battling cancer of the salivary gland. A number of prominent musicians have Tweeted their condolences and support for the surviving Boys, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond.

Coldplay performed a tribute to the fallen legend, covering "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" at the Hollywood Bowl. The Red Hot Chili Peppers -- who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year alongside the Beastie Boys themselves (MCA was unable to attend) -- also incorporated some of the Boys' songs into a recent performance.

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