Part of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's Will, Banning Use of Music in Ads, May Not Be Valid

By Wendy S. Goffe
The validity and legal issues surrounding a copyright provision that was added by Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch to his will, instructing that his music shall never be used in advertising, is explored in a guest post to by Estate Planning attorney Wendy Goffe.

Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, who died on May 4 of cancer, left instructions that his music couldn't be used in advertising. But this wording in his will, which he added by hand, may not even be valid. If his heirs try to honor it or enforce it, they could get stuck in months–or years–of legal tangles.

Without this provision, Yauch's 10-page will, filed with the New York Surrogate's Court in Manhattan on Aug. 6, is relatively straight forward. Yauch left his entire estate, estimated to be worth $6.4 million, to a trust, the terms of which are private. (In contrast, his will is a public document.) He appointed his wife Dechen Yauch as executor. And he included a somewhat creative provision for naming a guardian for their daughter, Tenzin Losel, if she was orphaned.

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