Feminist toy company GoldieBlox has removed its parody off Beastie Boys’ “Girls”, and says it’s willing to drop its lawsuit if the legendary hip-hop collective ends threats of copyright infringement.
If you haven’t been following, GoldieBlox recorded a new version of the group’s Licensed To Ill anthem “Girls”, effectively turning into a girl-power anthem. It appears in a commercial for the company, and has also gone viral on the Internet. However, GolideBlox never asked permission to parody the song, and when Beastie Boys’ lawyer contacted the company last week, GolideBlox filed a preemptive lawsuit asking for the song to be classified under fair use.
In an open letter issued Wednesday, GoldieBlox said, “We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.” Though the company still believes the parody falls under fair use, it has removed the advertisement from the Internet, adding, “We are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.”
GoldieBlox said it was unaware that Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch had banned usage of his music in advertisements in his will. In regards to why it filed the lawsuit in the first place, the company explained, “Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.”
Read the letter in full below:
Dear Adam and Mike,
We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.
When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.
Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.
We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. 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.
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.
Debbie + Team GoldieBlox
Below, watch Rock It Out! Blog host Sami Jarroush and our in-house legal expert Dan Pfleegor discuss the legal drama between Beastie Boys and GoldieBlox.