More than 20 years after its release, the Beastie Boys will have to defend the legality of their sample-laden 1989 album “Paul's Boutique.”
New York federal Judge Alison Nathan has refused to dismiss a May 2012 copyright infringement lawsuit filed against the band by TufAmerica Inc., which owns the rights to songs recorded earlier in the 1980s by the rhythm and blues group Trouble Funk.
New York-based TufAmerica originally accused the Beastie Boys of sampling six of Trouble Funk's recordings, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
However, Judge Nathan ruled Tuesday that TufAmerica had presented sufficient evidence to support infringement claims for only two of the songs.
Additionally, Judge Nathan limited the scope of the Beastie Boys' potential liability to proceeds from the album's sales earned after 2009, but the judge refused to dismiss the suit.
Though a commercial failure at the time of its release, “Paul's Boutique” has been routinely cited as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, primarily due to its innovative use of samples of more than 150 songs.