Beastie Boys, GoldieBlox Battle Over Copyright Infringement

Beastie Boys and GoldieBlox are currently locked in a copyright infringement dispute.

The toy company recently released an ad for its science-based toys designed for young ladies. The ad features a parody of the classic Beastie Boys tune “Girls,” a song which the company didn’t receive permission to use.

After the remaining members of the group inquired about ad, GoldieBlox headed to court with something the Los Angeles Times calls “preemptive court filing.”

According to GoldieBlox, the use of the Beastie Boys song “Girls” qualifies as satire. As a result, the company feels this isn’t covered by copyright infringement laws. However, the Mike D and Ad-Rock feel that the company is using the tune to sell a product. As fans of the group know, the guys don’t license their music for advertisements.

“The Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement. Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use and that GoldieBlox’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a ‘big problem’ that has a ‘very significant impact,'” the company explained.

The toy manufacturer believes that the song differs enough from the original to qualify as parody. GoldieBlox feels their version of “Girls” is “exactly the opposite of the message of the original.” The company added that the song was specifically crafted to “comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes.”

Billboard reports that the Beastie Boys have addressed the situation in a statement of their own. Although the fellas applaud GoldieBlox for developing sophisticated toys for girls, they’re not exactly thrilled with the company’s decision to use the song to peddle merchandise without getting permission from the band.

The press release explained:

“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.”

A spokesperson for the rap group explained that “no complaint filed, no demand letter — no demand, for that matter — when they sued Beastie Boys.”

Do you think GoldieBlox’s use of the Beastie Boys song qualifies as copyright infringement?

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