The Shmooze

Adam Yauch's Will Bans Use of His Music in Ads

By Michael Kaminer

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If you’d hoped to hear “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” in a coffee commercial, you’re out of luck.

Rolling Stone reports this week that a will left by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch , who died in May of cancer at age 47, prohibits the use of his music in ads. The will was filed Tuesday in Manhattan Surrogate court. “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, in no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes,” reads a copy obtained by Rolling Stone. The phrase “or any music or any artistic property created by me” was added in handwriting.

The will also names Yauch’s wife, Dechen, as the executor of his estate and leaves his $6.4 million to Dechen and their daughter, Tenzin Losel.

As the BBC noted, companies regularly exhume images of dead musicians, celebrities and historical figures in their advertisements, such as Apple’s 1997 Think Different campaign featuring John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.

The BBC also reported that surviving members of the Beastie Boys, Adam (Ad Rock) Horovitz and Mike (Mike D) Diamond, took legal action this week against energy-drink maker Monster over allegations of copyright infringement.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, claims “executives have been using their tracks in a promotional video and downloadable audio file without their permission.”


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