Beastie Boy MCA Has a Clause in His Will That Bans His Music from Being Used in Commercials
It always seems that when a musician dies, their sales increase and everyone wants to use their music. The Beastie Boys may have seen a spike in their music sales after the death of MCA, Adam Yauch, but they will not see profits from commercial use. That is unless someone uses it illegally and they sue.
MCA put a clause in his will that demands that his music can not and will not be used in commercials.
“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.”
The phrase “or any music or any artistic property created by me” was added in handwriting. Their music is credited to “Beastie Boys” so it’s unclear if this clause would prevent Ad-Rock and Mike D from ever selling the music they wrote together to advertisers; if they wanted to. The guys have not commented, and neither has MCA’s lawyer.
Oddly enough, the Beastie Boys have just filed a copyright claim against Monster Energy Drink for using their music in an online campaign without permission. It seems like they’ve avoided licensing their music for advertising for the most part. So, Ad-Rock and Mike D probably stand behind that. But if they don’t and the clause is enforceable MCA could potentially be screwing them out of a lot of money.
Do you feel that an artist or group is a sell-out if they license their music to be used commercially?