Beastie Boys Threaten Suit Over Inspiring Viral Video
GoldieBlox ad uses a parody of 'Girls'
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2013 11:03 AM CST
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(Newser) – You've probably seen it on your Facebook feed this week: the latest inspiring ad from GoldieBlox, the toy company aiming to break gender stereotypes by releasing toys focused on engineering and science (as opposed to the color pink). In this ad, as a parody of the Beastie Boys hit "Girls" plays, the little girls in the commercial put together a Rube Goldberg-esque chain reaction machine. (Think lyrics like, "Girls—to build the spaceship/Girls—to code the new app/Girls—to grow up knowing/That they can engineer that/Girls—that's all we really need is girls," sung by little girls.) But the band isn't happy about the use of its song.

"The Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement," says the toy company, which filed a preemptive lawsuit in California in an attempt to get a declaratory judgement that the video falls within fair use. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, to determine whether fair use applies, a judge will consider—among other things—"the purpose and character of the use." Which, inspiring though the video may be, is ... selling stuff. (Adam Yauch's will prohibits the use of any of his songs in ads, Rolling Stone notes.) But the video is certainly popular, having been viewed nearly eight million times, and "there's no doubt that this particular advertisement has earned some cultural cachet," writes Eriq Gardner.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
XYandZ
Nov 25, 2013 3:45 PM CST
All yous saying that this can't be fair use because it's an ad should read artcle this .
plain_speaking
Nov 25, 2013 9:01 AM CST
Admittedly, I don't know all the copyright laws...but you would hope the beastie Boys could be Men and work out a deal for this neat little ad...There has been many ads using music from talented musician...so why these noise maker think they are above it...I can't understand....
TeddyOctober
Nov 25, 2013 6:58 AM CST
The simple fact is that the ad should get pulled. The Beastie Boys do not license their music for advertising, and as such, their song cannot be used in the ad. Goldieblox should enjoy a nice and easy 6 figure infringement settlement.