Beastie Boys file copyright lawsuit against GoldeBlox toy company over viral parody

By Daniel S Levine,

Last month, the San Francisco-based GoldeBlox toy company made a commercial that went viral, featuring a parody of the Beastie Boys song “Girls” with different lyrics. The company decided to file a pre-emptive lawsuit against the group to stop them from suing them over copyrights, but they eventually pulled the commercial from YouTube in the hopes of stopping the issue from going further. But the Beastie Boys decided that this was not the end of the story and filed a lawsuit against the company today.

According to The New York Times, the court papers, filed Tuesday in California, said that the “Girls” video was “copyright infringement and is not fair use.” Lawyers added that it turned the song into “a ‘jingle’ to sell GoldieBlox’s products.”

The suit goes on to note that the company experienced a sales boom just because of their use of “Girls.” They accuse the company of “intentionally and despicably with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Beastie Boys,” reports Entrepreneur.

Just days after the video went viral in November, GoldieBlox sued the Beastie Boys, claiming that they already had their lawyers calling to complain about the video. Then, the remaining members of the group wrote an open letter, which denied this. “When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US,” that letter read.

Then, GoldieBlox pulled the commercial, apparently expecting the issue to be over. However, CEO Debbie Sterling insisted that they were still in the right to make the parody, claiming fair use.

Today, a lawyer for the company told the Times, “Although the ad has been taken down and we would prefer an amicable resolution, we strongly believe that the parody constitutes fair use.”

image: Wikimedia Commons


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