The existing members of the Beastie Boys have urged a judge to drop an unauthorized sampling lawsuit filed against them, insisting fans won't be able to identify the source of the music.
Record label executives at TufAmerica filed the suit against the rap trio on the day before Adam Yauch died in May - and his bandmates have only just responded. In the legal papers, the record label bosses allege the rappers illegally sampled material on the 1986 album License to Ill and the 1989 album Paul's Boutique from their catalogue.
However, the group's lawyers went to court on Monday, insisting that the plaintiffs would not be able to establish substantial similarity between original recordings and their clients' material.
The lawyers state: "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."
TufAmerica's label bosses have accused the group of concealing the samples to "the casual listener," revealing they only discovered the tracks after "conducting a careful audio analysis."
The Beastie Boys aren't the only '80s act in the midst of a decades-old sampling controversy - Madonna is currently being sued for allegedly sampling a 1976 SalSoul composition on her hit Vogue.
VMG SalSoul bosses claimed they discovered the alleged illegal sampling through new technology that wasn't available when the song was released in 1990.
In court papers filed last month, record label bosses accused Madonna and her producer of using the samples in such a way that "the fact that it was sampled was disguised."