Beastie Boys Backed by Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court refused to hear a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought by a jazz flutist against the New York-based rap-rock trio, claiming the Beasties failed to obtain proper permission to sample a piece of his music for their tune “Pass the Mic.”

The decision by the nation’s highest judicial authority to pass on the case means a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will stand as the last word on the case–and that leaves the Beasties victorious.

Per the appellate court ruling, the flute-toting James W. Newton didn’t have any legal ground to sue the Beastie Boys. Newton had claimed that though the group paid a fee to license a six-second, three-note stretch of a Newton composition from his music publisher and record company, the trio did not pay him specifically for the underlying rights to the work.

The appeals panel concluded that the jazzy clip used in “Pass the Mic,” a tune off the rappers’ 1992 album, Check Your Head, was not unique enough to warrant an infringement. The court ruled against Newton, despite friend-of-the-court briefs filed on his behalf by the American Composers Forum, the Electronic Music Foundation and Meet the Composer, among other jazz and artists-rights organizations.

Source: yahoo

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