Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys has placed some strong limitations in his will, reports Rolling Stone. In a nutshell, his will forbids the use of his likeness in advertising.
Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, passed away on May 4, 2012, from cancer. He was forty-seven years old. Yauch's will was filed with the Manhattan Surrogate's Court last week, naming his wife, Dechen, as executor.
The exact wording in his will, Rolling Stone reports, is the following:
"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."
Interestingly, Forbes reports that part of the provision was handwritten. We've discussed holographic wills and their validity in New York before. Basically, a handwritten will, or "holographic will" cannot be enforced as easily in New York.
This means that there could be an uphill battle for Yauch's estate if they want to enforce the handwritten clause prohibiting the use of his work in advertisement.
To make matters even more complicated, he added these provisions after his lawyers already had drafted the customary prohibitive clauses against the use of his commercial likeness being used in advertising. Such clauses are normal in the entertainment world, but to prohibit the use of his music or artistic property takes us into the realm of copyright, as Forbes notes.
Who do the rights to his music belong to? Did he have the rights to them or do those rights belong to his record company?
Those are only some of the questions that his lawyers will be asking in the coming months, if not years.
Perhaps Yauch should have left the drafting of his will to his lawyers instead of adding provisions on his own. Now, matters have been complicated and the valuation of his estate might be muddied by the restrictions.
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