Beastie Boys Respond to Toy Company GoldieBlox’s Unauthorized Use of “Girls” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Beastie Boys Respond to Toy Company GoldieBlox’s Unauthorized Use of “Girls”

Viral Commercial Faces Possible Copyright Infringement

Nov 26, 2013 Beastie Boys Bookmark and Share

Recently children’s toy company GoldieBlox debuted a clever commercial starring a trio of little girls operating a Rube Goldberg-inspired contraption, successfully advocating creativity and invention over the dominant princess culture. The entire video is soundtracked to a more feminist, lyrical reworking of the Beastie BoysLicensed To Ill track, “Girls.” While the commercial itself has become a viral hit, the surviving members of New York rap group have come forward to express their disapproval of the advertisement, due to the fact that they maintain it is copyright infringement.

Issuing a statement yesterday Ad-Rock and Mike D write:

“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.”

GoldieBlox of course have only defended the use of the song in the commercial, claiming that it is a parody and therefore protected by the Fair Use Doctrine. Issuing a complaint they write: “In the lyrics of the Beastie Boys’ song entitled Girls, girls are limited (at best) to household chores, and are presented as useful only to the extent they fulfill the wishes of the male subjects. The GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video takes direct aim at the song both visually and with a revised set of lyrics celebrating the many capabilities of girls. Set to the tune of Girls but with a new recording of the music and new lyrics, girls are heard singing an anthem celebrating their broad set of capabilities—exactly the opposite of the message of the original. They are also shown engaging in activities far beyond what the Beastie Boys song would permit. GoldieBlox created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.”

This is not the first time the Beastie Boys have taken issue with the use of their material in advertising, recently suing Monster Energy Drink for illegally using their music. Last year it was revealed in Adam Yauch’s will that he prohibited thte use of Beastie Boys songs in advertisements.

Click below to watch the commercial in question.



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March 5th 2020

Highly energetic post, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

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