“I won’t sell my songs for no TV Ad” – Adam Yauch’s will states how his image and music may be used after his death. Reply

I won’t sell my songs for no TV Ad”… not only did The Beastie Boy’s Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, rap these lyrics… but he also showed that he meant it to be true after his death too… by including a similar statement in his will. Evidently, Yauch’s will (which was filed in Manhattan Surrogate court earlier this month) states:

“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…” (His will also reportedly leaves his estate and rights to his music to his wife and daughter).

This statement in Yauch’s will is one example of how creative works can be accounted for and passed on in a will. Stating who inherits music and other creative works (beneficiaries), how the works may be used, and even passing on instruments to specific family members, friends or charity programs are important components of an artist’s Last Will and Testament.

(While the excerpt from Yauch’s will speaks to his own image and music, it is unclear how this impacts the Beasty Boys’ legal rights to license the group’s music for advertisements.)

See also: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/adam-yauchs-will-prohibits-use-of-his-music-in-ads-20120809; http://www.allmusic.com/album/hello-nasty-mw0000598994; http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/10/beastie-boys-adam-yauch-will-advertising; http://www.metrolyrics.com/putting-shame-in-your-game-lyrics-beastie-boys.html; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.

BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.

vk@kasterlegal.com

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