Music Copyright Infringement- TufAmerica, Inc. Lawsuit

Music Copyright Infringement- TufAmerica, Inc. Lawsuit

By: Kristen Dombroski

   On March 9, 2016, a New York federal judge held that the record label TufAmerica, Inc. hadn’t properly demonstrated that it had the rights to the Beastie Boys’ music. TufAmerica, Inc. originally filed a copyright suit on May 3, 2012, claiming that the band and its’ record label, Universal Music Group, Inc. used samples of Trouble Funks’ songs (“Say What” and “Drop the Bomb”) in 4 Beastie Boys songs. TufAmerica, Inc. is Trouble Funks’ record label.

The court granted the Beastie Boys’ motion to dismiss TufAmerica, Inc.’s claim on their songs “The New Style” and “Car Thief.” This suit followed, over the copyright on their songs “Shadrach” and “Hold It Now, Hit It.” In TufAmerica, Inc. v. Diamond et. al., Judge Alison Nathan held that there was insufficient evidence to constitute infringement. The Beastie Boys received $602,828 for attorneys’ fees and costs. Their record label, Universal Music Group, Inc., received $242,769 for attorneys’ fees and costs.

TufAmerica, Inc. is a litigious record label that has filed past copyright actions against other artists and their record labels, including Jay Z, Christina Aguilera, and Kanye West. Additionally, TufAmerica, Inc. has filed past actions against Song Music Entertainment and Amazon.com, as well as Biglaw firms BakerHostetler, Troutman Sanders LLP, and Gibbons P.C.