Beastie Boys Poised For Another Legal Win, This Time Over Paul’s Boutique Samples

By Chris DeVille / June 12, 2014

Beastie Boys already prevailed in legal battles against GoldieBlox and Monster Energy this year, and now they seem likely to win a third. Before Adam Yauch died, the record label Tuf America sued Beastie Boys over the use of uncleared samples from Trouble Funk’s “Say What” and “Let’s Get Small” on the Beasties’ Dust-Brothers-produced 1989 cut-and-paste odyssey Paul’s Boutique. Billboard reports that lawyers for the Beasties, UMG-Polygram and Capitol handed down a death blow against Tuf America: Even though Trouble Funk signed over negotiating rights to Tuf in 1999, a previous deal with Island Records in 1984 means that Tuf does not hold the copyright on Trouble Funk’s music. Therefore Tuf has no grounds to sue the Beasties for sampling the recordings. Tuf is also trying to sue Beastie Boys for infringing on Trouble Funk’s publishing rights as songwriters, but Trouble Funk’s deal with Island means UMG-Polygram co-owns the publishing rights to Trouble Funk’s music, so Tuf can’t sue on those grounds either. Looks like the Beasties will continue to hold court in the court of law.

[Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images.]