Legal reps for the Beastie Boys have responded to a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against them in May, the day before the death of group member Adam Yauch.
As previously reported, US label Tuf America alleged that four of the hip hop outfit’s tracks from 1986 and 1989 used samples from two songs it owned without permission. Tuf America had only acquired the rights in the allegedly sampled songs in 1999, and had only noticed the alleged samples in the Beastie Boys tracks very recently.
Yauch’s death delayed the group’s response to the action, but this week legal papers were filed. Lawyers have argued that Tuf America has not provided convincing evidence that the samples in question originate with the recordings it owns, while adding that, even if it could provide that evidence, the case should be dismissed under the statute of limitations – ie the claimant waited far too long to sue.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the legal reps say: “What precipitated plaintiff to bring this action two decades after the release of the songs in question, and the day before the passing of defendant Adam Yauch, is not explained. Plaintiff is attempting to sidestep the Copyright Act’s three-year statute of limitations and the defenses of laches and estoppel in light of its decades-long delay in taking any action”.
Tuf America is yet to respond.
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