A lawsuit — filed the day before Adam Yauch died — is thrown out of court.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan granted the Beastie Boys summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by TufAmerica that claimed the group violated copyright law by using unauthorized samples on 1989 milestone Paul’s Boutique. The case was basically thrown out on a technicality: TufAmerica never acquired an exclusive license to the copyrighted material in question and lacked standing to sue.

Tuf America is the super-litigious publishing company run by hip-hop “bloodsucker” (in Questlove’s words) Aaron Fuchs, and has previously sued Kanye West, Jay Z and Frank Ocean.

In this case, TufAmerica needed deals with all three members of Trouble Funk — whose ‘Say What’ was used on the Beastie’ song ‘Shadrach’ and whose ‘Let’s Get Small’ was used on ‘Hold It Now Hit It’ — but had only secured a 1999 deal with two of the members, Robert Reed and Tony Fisher. A 2012 deal with member James Avery was not deemed sufficient.

“Putting aside the issue of whether the 2012 Agreement and 1999 Agreements can be read together, the 2012 Agreement conveys nothing more than the bare right to sue,” writes Judge Nathan. “And it has long been the rule that ‘[w]here… an agreement transfers ‘nothing more than the bare right to sue… ‘[it] cannot be the basis for standing under the Copyright Act.” [via THR]



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