Toy company sued the group, claiming that its spoof of “Girls” was fair use
In the legal standoff between the Beastie Boys and GoldieBlox, GoldieBlox has blinked.
The toy company, which preemptively filed a fair-use lawsuit against the rap group last week hoping to keep its parody video of the Beasties song “Girls” in bounds, has removed the song from the video and told the group, “We don’t want to fight with you.”
In an open letter from “Debbie + Team GoldieBlox” to surviving Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond (third member Adam Yauch died last year after a battle with cancer), GoldieBlox said that it created the video “with the best of intentions,” but because “actions speak louder than words,” the toy company has removed the song from the video.
“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,” the company said in a blog post addressed to the musicians.
The letter acknowledged that the company was unaware that Yauch strongly disapproved of his music being used for commercial purposes, a stance that he emphasized with a handwritten addendum to his will.
GoldieBlox added that it is ready to drop its 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,” the letter reads. “We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.”
A spokesman for the group said that there is not currently any comment on GoldieBlox’s decision to remove the song.
The company filed suit against the Beastie Boys and other defendants, claiming that the group’s legal team had pressured the company to remove the song. GoldieBlox had sought a ruling that their parody of the song fell under fair use.
The original video featured a group of girls rejecting traditional forms of female play, instead building “a highly creative and complex Rube Goldberg mechanism.”
The parody song changed the original’s decidedly non-feminist lyrics to pro-female messages such as, “Girls to build the spaceship/Girls to code the new app/Girls to grow up knowing/That they can engineer that.”
In a response issued earlier this week, Horovitz and Diamond said that they had merely asked why the song had been used without their permission, adding that they “strongly support empowering young girls.”
“We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering,” the pair’s statement reads. “As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.
“When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US,” the pair concluded.