Group claims that video using song “Girls” constitutes copyright infringement
The Beastie Boys aren’t toying around with GoldieBlox.
The “Sabotage” group has filed multiple counterclaims against the toy company in the lawsuit over a video produced by GoldieBlox, which featured an altered version of the Beasties song “Girls.”
In the counterclaims, the group accuses the company of a “systematic campaign of infringement” with a “series of video advertisements set to well-known song from popular artists in an effort to achieve the company’s goal of selling toys.”
GoldieBlox, which says that it is “founded upon the principle of breaking down gender stereotypes, by offering engineering and construction toys specifically targeted to girls,” sued the group, along with other entities, in November.
At issue is a video that was posted to YouTube, featuring girls rejecting stereotypical playtime activities and instead inventing “a highly creative and complex Rube Goldberg mechanism.”
The video in question featured a reworked version of the Beasties song “Girls” with inspirational lyrics such as, “Girls to build the spaceship/Girls to code the new app/Girls to grow up knowing/That they can engineer that.”
GoldieBlox contends that the video falls under the Fair Use Doctrine, and that lawyers for the Beastie Boys put the heat on the company to shut the video down.
GoldieBlox later removed the song from the video and said it would drop its lawsuit “as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.” However, the gesture apparently has fallen on deaf ears. The group’s counterclaims assert that the video “is of a commercial nature” and “directly resulted in a massive increase in the sales of GoldieBlox’s products.”
The group has had a longstanding policy of not allowing its music to be used for commercials — a policy that was reflected in a handwritten addendum to the will of deceased member Adam Yauch, who died last year.
In their filing, the Beasties say that counsel for the group contacted GoldieBlox about the video on Nov. 21, and that the company filed its lawsuit on the very same day.
Daralyn Durie, who’s representing GoldieBlox in the matter, said that the counterclaims are currently being reviewed.
“Although the video has been taken down and we would prefer an amicable resolution, we strongly believe that the parody constitutes fair use,” Durie told TheWrap in a statement.
In the counterclaims, the group accuses GoldieBlox of undermining its mission with its derivative videos.
“Unfortunately, rather than developing an original advertising campaign to inspire its customers to create and innovate, GoldieBlox has instead developed an advertising campaign that condones and encourages stealing from others,” the group’s filing reads.
Claiming copyright infringement. infringement and other allegations, the Beastie Boys are asking that GoldieBlox be blocked from making unauthorized use of the group’s work in the future, and for an award of “actual damages and lost profits [the group] has sustained as a result of GoldieBlox’s unlawful acts of copyright infringement.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.