GoldieBlox Changes Music In Video That Sparked Conflict With The Beastie Boys

One of the stranger IP violation situations of recent times seems to have come to an end.

The Internet got all excited about a promotional video from toy company GoldieBlox in recent days, once for the great video which promoted young girls learning about technology—and then again when the Beastie Boys seemed to get a bit heavy-handed about the video's parody lyrics, which were based on their song "Girls." Now it's been noticed on Twitter and elsewhere that the GoldieBlox video, shown above, has been reuploaded with a new audio track.

The Beastie Boys' involvement has been controversial, and while musicians took to Twitter to voice their support for the group, there has been an equally vociferous conversation about the right to parody—despite the well-known fact of Adam Yauch's insistence, on his death, that his music never be used in ads.

GoldieBlox has posted a message to the Beastie Boys on its blog, with very apologetic language but also stating that "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 the two surviving band members. The company also explains 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.

The company explains it has replaced the video and is ready to quash its lawsuit "as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from [the band's] legal team."

[Image: GoldieBlox YouTube]

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28 Comments

  • Adams

    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.

  • Charles

    GoldieBlox has posted a message to the Beastie Boys on its blog, with very apologetic language

  • Kimberly Dutton

    They either failed to hire someone in PR or the PR person they had is now in the unemployment line.

  • Adams

    GoldieBlox has posted a message to the Beastie Boys on its blog, with very apologetic language but also stating that "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 the two surviving band members. The company also explains that:

  • John King

    Its lost some of the impact. I thought the song worked well with it. Shame a compromise couldnt have been met

  • Andrew

    Goldiebox (yes, box) is wrong. They stole to make a profit. This is not how I bring up my children (5yr old boy and 1yr old girl). There will never be product from this company in my home.

  • Charles

    it's also a shame that they will likely be taught by you to think about things one dimensionally and to ignore complexities of issues in a rational and informed manner.

  • amy teill

    "Stole" is a harsh term when the song in question is a parody about an exploitive sexist original song. Do you consider any SNL sketch that appropriates the likeness of original music for parodies as 'stealing'? Or any Weird Al song? Or anything on Family Guy? All businesses intending to make a profit and through the use of parody are making a statement about the original artwork in question? What about any photoshopped Mona Lisa used in an ad? I think the company itself was well within its rights (both legally and culturally), and it should be commended that they were willing to change their advertising due the special circumstances of the posthumous wishes of the band member. You're statement distills a very complicated subject into a slogan that seems to be based in ignorance and judgement. It's a shame that your children won't benefit from an educational product, and it's also a shame that they will likely be taught by you to think about things one dimensionally and to ignore complexities of issues in a rational and informed manner.

  • Charles

    You're statement distills a very complicated subject into a slogan that seems to be based in ignorance and judgement.

  • Dave Kaufman - Techlife

    They did acknowledge the specific song "Girls" as something they weren't proud of and chose to not perform it. This decision was long ago. As Fast Company was clear to point out, they weren't fighting this, as they were preemptively sued when they asked about the song's use.

  • Adams

    The company explains it has replaced the video and is ready to quash its lawsuit "as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from [the band's] legal team."

  • karensd

    You would think that the Beastie Boys, who have acknowledged their overt misogyny in their lyrics at the beginning of their careers, would've chosen to make amends with more than lip service. Boo on them for fighting this and go GoldieBlox!

  • Adams

    Overt misogyny? There were two women in their band at the beginning of their careers. I'm not sure why they owe anyone anything considering their music was stolen by a for-profit corporation.

  • Charles

    they weren't fighting this, as they were preemptively sued when they asked about the song's use

  • Orly MacGregor

    Overt misogyny? There were two women in their band at the beginning of their careers. I'm not sure why they owe anyone anything considering their music was stolen by a for-profit corporation.

  • Adams

    You would think that the Beastie Boys, who have acknowledged their overt misogyny in their lyrics at the beginning of their careers, would've chosen to make amends with more than lip service. Boo on them for fighting this and go GoldieBlox!