His will reads: “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.”
Yauch left his £4.1m estate to his widow, Dechen Yauch, and their 13-year-old daughter, and gave Dechen the right to sell and manage his artistic property as the executor of the estate.
Dead musicians, celebrities and historical figures have often been exploited by corporations in the past. A prime example is Apple’s 1997 Think Different ad campaign featuring Martin Luther King Jr, John Lennon, and Mahatma Gandhi.
Just this week, Ad-Rock and Mike D, the remaining members of the Beastie Boys, took legal action against US energy drink company Monster alleging copyright infringement.
They lodged papers in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, claiming executives have been using their tracks in a promotional video and downloadable audio file without their permission.
There’s long been an aversion to ‘selling out’ from the artistic community
“Do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call, every word you say is suspect, you’re a corporate whore and eh, end of story,” late comedian Bill Hicks once said.