Back in 1983, the Beastie Boys sued British Airways for using their song ‘Beastie Revolution’ in a TV commercial without their consent. The lawsuit netted the group $40,000, and since then, the band have been famously adverse to using their music for commercial purposes. Understandably, folks are now a little confused as to why the group’s music is being used in an ad for a new video game.
As Adweek reports, the trailer for new video game Destiny 2 features the Beastie Boys track ‘Sabotage’, despite the legendary hip-hop group’s famous stance on using music in this nature.
As Pitchfork notes, since founding member Adam Yauch’s death in 2012, the surviving members of the group have upheld the musician’s wishes to not use their music in such a way. Upon his death, Rolling Stone noted that Yauch’s will includes the statement, “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.”
A lawsuit against Monster in 2014, which saw the group awarded $1.7m after the group used various cuts from the band’s catalogue in an ad, resulted in the group plainly stating that they don’t allow their music to be used in such a way.
However, the group have since made an exception in certain case, notably allowing their track ‘Sabotage’ to be used in the trailers for 2009’s Star Trek and 2016 Star Trek Beyond.
Adweek claims that the reason that the Beastie Boys gave in to the request of Destiny 2, is because Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the director of the trailer has a previous relationship with the group’s surviving members. It seems that the level of action and humour within the trailer caught the eye of the group, appealing to them enough to allow the song to be used.
While this doesn’t exactly mean that the group are suddenly making all their music open to be used on commercials, it does raise some questions as to what their exact stance on the issue is these days. Especially given Adam Yauch’s last wishes, it seems as though Ad-Rock and Mike D may just be allowing their music to be used in a manner that Yauch may have approved of.
Check out the trailer for Destiny 2 below.