November 23, 2013


Beastie Boys Accuse Educational Girls' Toy Company of Copyright Infringement

Ron Galella, Ltd.
Ron Galella, Ltd.

Educational girls' toy company, GoldieBlox, recently filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against The Beastie Boys who have accused the small upstart of copyright infringement.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the issue at hand is a viral video created by the company that features young girls building various contraptions with GoldieBlox as they sing a very girl positive version of the Boys' 1987 single, "Girls."

The video replaces the original misogynistic lyrics "Girls - to do the dishes/Girls - to clean up my room/Girls - to do the laundry/Girls - and in the bathroom/Girls, that's all I really want is girls" with " "Girls to build the spaceship/Girls to code the new app/Girls to grow up knowing/That they can engineer that/Girls/That's all we really need is Girls."

The vid has garnered over 7 million views since its original posting on November 17.

GoldieBlox argue in the suit that the video was a parody and thus fair to use. It reads:

"the Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement. Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use and that GoldieBlox's unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a 'big problem' that has a 'very significant impact.'"

The company is set to take the lawsuit to a California federal court to get a preemptive legal decision in their favor.

This preemptive move by GoldieBlox is very similar to what Pharrell, Robin Thicke and T.I. did this summer after being faced with a possible infringement suit by the estate of Marvin Gaye. 

The Beastie Boys have yet to comment on the issue, but one thing is certain, the company does not appear to be willing to back down in any way.

"GoldieBlox created its parody video with specific goals to make fun of the Beastie Boys song," the lawsuit states.

"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. The GoldieBlox 'Girls' Parody Video has gone viral on the Internet, and has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song."