The Beastie Boys are being sued by a toy company, strangely enough, because the toy company parodied their track "Girls."
It's pretty common knowledge that the Beastie Boys do not allow their music to be used for commercial purposes. Last year, we saw them take Monster energy drink to court for attempting to use their records "Sabotage," "So Whatcha Want," and "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun" in an ad campaign. Well, now another company has re-created the Beastie Boys' "Girls," without the group's permission, and once again, a lawsuit has unfolded...only this time, the company in question is suing The Beastie Boys.
GoldieBlox created a commercial which features toys utilized in elaborate and complex methods to create a Rube Goldberg machine. The song parodies Beastie Boys' "Girls" with young girls singing the re-vamped lyrics. GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the Beastie Boys, defending their right to use the music their in viral video (it's been viewed over 8 million times), as Beastie Boys had previously requested them to take down the YouTube video.
In their suit that GoldieBlox state that they “created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes.” GoldieBlox also says that the hip-hop group “threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement.”
The Beastie Boys surviving members, Mike D and Ad-Rock, have responded with an open letter today, accepting that the message behind the visual is important, but maintaining that the company is still attempting to sell a product-- and thus they don't want their music a part of it.
Their open letter reads,
"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."
We'll update you on this lawsuit as it unfolds.
[UPDATE: The Toy Company GoldieBlox Has Pulled "Girls" From Their Ad]
As we reported a few days ago, the Beastie Boys had written an open letter to the toy company GoldieBlox for appropriating their "Girls" record without the group's permission. GoldieBlox retaliated by opening a lawsuit on the Beastie Boys, maintaining they were right to use the song.
Now they've seen the error in their ways, and have decided to remove their "Girls" parody from the commercial in question (see above). They've also written an open letter to the veteran rap group, saying that they were not aware of the Beastie Boy's strong stance against using their music in advertisements, something which Adam Yauch specifically mentioned in his will.
In the open letter, GoldieBlox writes to the Beastie Boys, "Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video.In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.”
The letter ended, “We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.”