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Timing Is Everything: Beastie Boys Named in Sampling Lawsuit

Just days following the news that Adam “MCA” Yauch had died of cancer at the tragically young age of 47, AllHipHop.com reported late last night that a hip hop label by the name of Tuf America is suing the Beastie Boys and Capitol Records for copyright infringement in regards to four tracks — two from 1986’s License to Ill and two from 1989 masterpiece Paul’s Boutique. Tuf America is alleging that the group illegally sampled two tracks by an artist called Trouble Funk, and is looking to be compensated for earnings made on the original albums and reissues. Why it’s taken this long for the label to sue is unclear, but their timing couldn’t really have been any worse as far as bad publicity goes — although in fairness, the suit was filed on May 3, the day before Yauch’s death. We’ve included two of the tracks in question after the jump — let us know what you think.

For some interesting additional reading on the topic, head over to Slate where Matthew Yglesias well-timed piece “Was Paul’s Boutique Illegal?” examines the “legal gray area” of sampling in the ’80s.