BeastieBlox. GoldieBlox vs. Beastie Boys |

BeastieBlox. GoldieBlox vs Beastie Boys

GoldieBlox‘ a toy company designed to provide young girls with toys that focus on inspiring future generations of female engineers, has created what they call a ‘parody video‘ of the Beastie Boys 1987 track ‘Girls‘.  The ‘parody video’ uses the backing Beastie Boys track and replaces the words to attack the stereotypes out there and inspire young girls that there is more than the traditional pink toys and dolls to play with, and conveniently enough Goldieblox is there to suit their needs.  Currently the video has been viewed over 8 million times, so it has entered the realm of a ‘viral video’.

The Beastie Boys, like so many other bands and groups, decided at the beginning of their career that they would not allow any of their artistic property (songs, etc) be used for advertising purposes.  In fact, the group feels so strongly about this that Adam Yauch, (aka MCA) referred specifically to this in his will preceding his death last year;

Not withstanding 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

In a lawsuit filed by GoldieBlox, it claims that the “Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement“.  In my mind, a clear and logical response by the Beastie Boys to a video that clearly demonstrates copyright infringement.  In the lawsuit, GoldieBlox claims that the video is made as a parody of the Beastie Boys track ‘Girls’.

GoldieBlox, in an extremely strange move, given the fact that they are clearly at fault over copyright infringement, have filed the suit against the Beastie Boys seeking;

a declaratory judgment holding that its parody video does not infringe any copyrights held by Defendants and is protected by the Fair Use Doctrine

The interesting thing here is, the Beastie Boys have not tried to sue GoldieBlox, but GoldieBlox is trying to sue the Beastie Boys.  I feel like I’m missing something, or suddenly we are now living in the Bizarro world.  The Beastie Boys have issued an open letter to GoldieBlox after the lawsuit was issued;

Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial ‘GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,’ we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.

We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.

As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.

While GoldieBlox is a company with a great message for young girls, it is after all, a business.  This video is not a ‘parody’ in the sense that someone made a video and posted it to YouTube for a few laughs, this video was made by a company and that company has a purpose, to make money.  This is in clear violation of the Beastie Boys legal wishes that none of their songs be used in any way for advertising purposes, and without their permission is also clearly in violation of copyright infringement.   The actions of GoldieBlox appears to be a publicity stunt to muster worldwide attention of their company, as advertisers should know that they can’t release copyrighted material without the consent of its owner, simple as that.

You be the judge.  Here is the GoldieBlox video in question:

And if you don’t know the Beastie Boys track ‘Girls’, here you go:

Another time.


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