back to article Hello nasty, don't use my music: Deceased Beastie Boy to admen

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who died aged 47 in May after a three-year battle with salivary gland cancer, left a will that barred the use of his music and artwork by advertising outfits. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the New York hip-hop star whose band rocked the world with albums Licensed to Ill in 1986, Ill Communication …

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

quote: "I'm just saying that his wish is an artistic pretention given that he commercialised his music, companies turned a profit on it directly, and it has already been indirectly used to sell other products. You tune into MTV for his music, and then an advert plays for chicken drumsticks. He didn't know that's why MTV was playing his music, to sell advertising slots?"

I'm fairly sure he was well aware that that is MTVs business model. However MTV just plays the original, and in most cases advertisers create derivative works (different video, and voiceover on the audio, are the 2 most obvious alterations that would take place). "You can distribute my message (for profit), but you may not subvert my message" could be one interpretation of the logical disconnect between allowing publishers to profit, and not allowing advertisers to profit, from his works. Unfortunately we can no longer ask the man himself on his reasoning behind the decision, so we are left with speculation.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

There's a world of difference between having your music play ALONGSIDE an ad (which is The Cost of Doing Business on broadcast radio and MTV, and the artist has no control over this--most people recognize this distinction and shrug) and having your music play DURING an ad (the ad agency has to have permission to use the music at this point, which creates an involuntary statement about the artist's tastes and/or attitudes, which is more significant).

There's a difference certainly, but I wouldn't say there's a world of difference. He has the right to specify his desires relating to his creations, I do not for one second deny that, but that doesn't mean they're not silly.

"I'm happy for my song to play immediately before or after a chicken drumsticks ad, but not during dammit!"

Please Mr Yauch, you created pop songs with the shelf-life of a few decades, not some great philosophical work that will inspire nations to action for centuries to come. Don't fret it, the possibility of their 'corruption' is a total non-issue

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Re: @ Hasham

I was wondering when Godwin's Law would come into effect ITT....

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

"You can distribute my message (for profit), but you may not subvert my message" could be one interpretation of the logical disconnect between allowing publishers to profit, and not allowing advertisers to profit, from his works.

I guess what this comes down to is how important one takes that message to be. Yauch created his songs, so no doubt he puts a great deal of importance onto them and thinks they can be made 'impure' somehow. For myself it's just pop songs alongside thousands of others; they're nice and catchy but not to be taken too seriously.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

Hasham, you clearly don't care to understand what the Beastie Boy ethos evolved into. The fact you used a phrase like 'you created a few pop songs' shows not only your misguided ignorance, but also how much of a bellend you are.

Starting with Paul's Boutique, the Beasties created sublime music that influenced a generation, and more than just a few here I imagine. Your attempt to lessen this is comically inept.

Yauch then devoted his time promoting non aggression, and attempted to raise awareness of oppressed nations. All on his own dime. You think this guy wanted to shill crap to stupid fat Americans after his death? You can't see how this would be the antithesis to his character?

To borrow from Bill Hicks also. Stop trying to put a dollar sign on everything, you sucker of Satan's cock.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Trollface

Trolls Gotta troll

Mr (or Ms) Hasham, I must congratulate you on one of the best executed pieces of trolling I've seen on The Register.

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IT Angle

Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

His will excludes the usage of his music in ADVERTISING.

Beastie Boys' music has been included in multiple films (Star Trek, Iron Man 2, etc), and will most likely be used in the future as well.

There's also the constant revenue from record sales, songs played in radio, music videos played in TV and so on. I'm sure his family don't have to worry about money.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

Hasham, you clearly don't care to understand what the Beastie Boy ethos evolved into. The fact you used a phrase like 'you created a few pop songs' shows not only your misguided ignorance, but also how much of a bellend you are.

Starting with Paul's Boutique, the Beasties created sublime music that influenced a generation, and more than just a few here I imagine. Your attempt to lessen this is comically inept.

Yauch then devoted his time promoting non aggression, and attempted to raise awareness of oppressed nations. All on his own dime. You think this guy wanted to shill crap to stupid fat Americans after his death? You can't see how this would be the antithesis to his character?

To borrow from Bill Hicks also. Stop trying to put a dollar sign on everything, you sucker of Satan's cock.

"Beastie Boys songs, they're so deep and pure, man, they make me cry. You just don't understand!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

It's very simple:

- If you pay people to sell your stuff they're working for you

- If other people pay you to sell their stuff you're working for them

Pretentious twat. (That's you, not him. He's just choosing his employer.)

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Stop

Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

Give it up, you've been found out. Your credibility is zero.

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WTF?

hasham

I don't understand why Hasham is recieving so many down votes; his/her references to what appear to be irrational double-standards by Adam Yauch are entirely valid.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

European and international law, in the form of the Berne Convention, establishes something called "moral rights", which is what Mr Yauch is trying to assert in this case. An author in Europe and most other countries could insert a clause like this in their will and have it upheld by courts - assuming someone was willing to take the case to court.

Despite the US's accession to Berne, US law to this day still doesn't recognise "moral rights". There is no such thing, in US law, as an "inalienable" right: everything is for sale. (Even the famed "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" can be, and frequently are, signed away.) What that means for copyright is that if you pass your copyrights to your daughter, then your daughter owns them entire, lock, stock and barrel. And she can benefit from them in any way you could have done while you were alive.

So this clause will not be enforceable. At best it creates a bit of moral pressure on his heirs.

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JDX
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Re: Trolls Gotta troll

I'm not sure, possibly Bungle is the troll here. After all while their music has a message it is presented in contemporary popular form, otherwise known as 'pop music'. Most people like listening to it because of how it sounds, not what it says.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

Work is good for the soul. And his wife and daughter are still likely to have decent income from his inheritance.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

There is a big difference between selling a song to a company for them to play to their customers in the normal course of business, eg a radio station, a nightclub etc, and selling it to a company for use in advertising materials.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

$6,000,000 will get you an income of somewhere between $60,000 and $90,000 per year if you put it in secure investments. I don't know how many people that has to be split between, but if it is more than about 2, then it probably isn't enough to live a middle class lifestyle never mind not having to worry about money again.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

So, when someone's ethics based decisions don't agree with what *you* think is logical, you feel free to assert things about their mental and emotional states. You describe this as a "hissy fit", insinuating that the decision was emotionally immature rather than thought through. Ad hominems are tiresome.

Pro tip: You can disagree with the logic of someone's reasoning and still respect them for following *their* logic or ethics.

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Re: Very strange behaviour indeed

"Please Mr Yauch, you created pop songs with the shelf-life of a few decades, not some great philosophical work that will inspire nations to action for centuries to come. Don't fret it, the possibility of their 'corruption' is a total non-issue"

You may be interested to know that a lot of what we consider timeless classics of art were, in fact, commissions: done to order for a paying customer. So who's to say what will become a timeless classic or not in a couple hundred years? I mean, I don't picture the future become like that seen in the Bill & Ted movies, but...you never know.

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Not necessarily a good thing.

Bob Monkhouse's widow allowed him to be used in a post mortem advert, which is really rather good...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiGNvXbofwY

I can understand his viewpoint, but maybe a blanket ban is a little extreme

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not necessarily a good thing.

The advert was a warning about the cancer that killed him, and so in a different league from flogging either high class tat, or supermarket own brand baked beans.

(specifically an awareness campaign by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation)

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tolkien

apparently put a similar embargo on Disney and his works.. ie., they shal not pass..

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Anonymous Coward

Bill

Bill also said, "Any advertising people in tonight? Yeah! KILL YOURSELVES! You are nothing but the sucker of Satan's cock, you are worthless and serve absolutely no purpose! No, there's no joke! Just kill yourselves. 'Oh yeah Bill's going for that angst comedian dollar! That's a big market'. STOP PUTTING A DOLLAR SIGN ON EVERY FUCKING THING YOU SEE! 'Oh yeah, the manic shouting dollar, another good market!'. Please just stop it!", starts sobbing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHCs3v_mFkM

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Too right

Let the man be remembered for his music rather than a hemorrhoids cream jingle

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Too right

How then will I know if I gotta fight! ... for my right! ... for soooooooooothing relief?!

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WTF?

I seem to remember the Beastie Boys appearing as playable characters in NDA Jam: Tournament Edition? Did that not count on this whole 'selling out' thing?

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FAIL

Sonofabi... mean NBA obviously....

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Although I suspect a lot of corporations have various non-disclosure resources available which could function within a limited tournament scenario. Perhaps Apple and their 'lost bar phones' were the eliminator rounds...

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NDA Jam

New for xbox360. Non Disclosure Agreement Jam 2K12. Extreeme Paperwork Filling Action for up to 4 players! New Notary mode!

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Pirate

NBA?

Are you sure it wasn't the NRA?

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FAIL

Time..

Time until this is challenged in court and over ruled?

After all what does a dead man's wishes matter when there is money to be made! just look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Byrne_%28giant%29

He wanted to be buried at sea because he was afraid of being regarded as a freak for all time, yet his bones are still on display!

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Re: Time..

Unfortunately the one thing that you do not own in law, and possibly even by definition, is your own body after its life is extinct.

There are good public-health reasons for this, as well as theological ones. Your body therefore belongs to your executors as soon as life is pronounced extinct (without waiting for probate!), and they are responsible for its safe disposal in accordance with the laws governing such.

This unfortunate chap obviously chose the wrong executors (and maybe the wrong jurisdiction to die under).

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Re: Time..

dying in the 1780s didn't help his case. The "Age of Reason" was a big time for medical curiosity.

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Re: Time..

@graeme leggett

There was a push this year to see his final wishes honoured, yet the museum is fighting tooth and nail against it.

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Re: Time..

That's where the rights you do have come in.

Dear Loved and Trustworthy Descendants,

I hereby leave you the sum of ELEVENTEEN MILLION GROATS to divide equally amongst yourself....

...provided you bury my body at sea within 14 days of this reading. Otherwise the cat's getting the lot.

Imagine the raised digit in the icon being the one two places to the left.

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Pint

Re: Time..

Thankyou for that link. Hilarious and wonderful.

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What about paul's boutique?

Don't get me wrong, hello nasty was great, but they did make more than 2 albums. just sayin', is all :)

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FAIL

Re: What about paul's boutique?

+1, Can't believe they left it out. Its better IMHO than most of what they did later.

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Anonymous Coward

Not qualified, but doubt that it is binding

But, if his family are his sole executors, and they have a desire to respect his wishes, then those wishes are going to get respected. As to future generations/inheritors ... who knows?

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Re: Not qualified, but doubt that it is binding

First-sale doctrine should be applied here

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Go

ITT: Make MCA's worst fears come true

Intergalactic - Virgin Galactic

Body Movin' - Canesten

Sneakin' Out The Hospital - GUM clinic

Root Down - Weedol

B-Boys Makin' With The Freak-Freak - cosmetic surgery / another GUM clinic

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So, what happpens ...

.... when the two survivors get a bit down on their luck and decide its time to cash in on their past work?

By the time the court challenges are settled, the only people left that will be buying anything to a Beastie Boys jingle will be buying adult diapers.

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JDX
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Re: So, what happpens ...

Unless Adam has/had sole rights to the music, then the court case would be dismissed in about 2min.

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Pint

Yeah, you can't front on that

"Well if you're hot to trot you think you're slicker than grease, I've got news for you crews you'll be sucking like a leech." Until the lawyers get done or the wife squanders all my money like Courtney Love.

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WTF?

I assume that's "future" advertising then...

...seeing as I remember "Fight for Your Right" being used on an advert a fair few years ago. I'm fairly sure it was for Andrex and involved a puppy on a skateboard.

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Re: I assume that's "future" advertising then...

That would be the safe assumption. At least while he was alive, he could personally look at the ad and consider whether or not the spirit of his music fit in with the ad or not. In the case you described, a dog on a skateboard evokes an image of unorthodoxy and rebellion, which fits in well with the theme of "Fight For Your Right:".

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JDX
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Not legal?

I only recently set up my will and I was told if you leave things to people, you can't put conditions like this on it... you give something to someone and now it's theirs.

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Re: Not legal?

I'm pretty sure you can put in SOME conditions. You can DEFINITELY put in contingency conditions (where the inheritance goes if the heir is dead, for example--many a will I've seen put these in just in case). And given that you hear and see eligibility conditions all the time in books and TV, you would think there was at least some basis in reality for such a portrayal.

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