Beastie Boys Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Girls’ Video

Toy manufacturer GoldieBlox must issue an apology and make a charitable donation as part of settlement

The Beastie Boys have put their legal tussle with toy manufacturer GoldieBlox behind them.

The group settled its legal case with GoldieBlox, bringing an end to a pair of lawsuits stemming from a video that GoldieBlox produced using the group’s 1987 song “Girls,” the California-based toy company announced Tuesday.

GoldieBlox — which says it was “founded upon the principle of breaking down gender stereotypes, by offering engineering and construction toys specifically targeted to girls” — initially sued the group in a preemptive move in November.

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The video, posted on YouTube, featured girls rejecting stereotypical playtime activities and instead inventing “a highly creative and complex Rube Goldberg mechanism.”

The soundtrack to the video was a version of the Beastie Boys’ song with altered lyrics, including, “Girls to build the spaceship/Girls to code the new app/Girls to grow up knowing/That they can engineer that.”

GoldieBlox contended that the video fell under the doctrine of Fair Use, which allows limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holder.

But the group disagreed, counter sued the company and accused it 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.”

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Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, who died in 2012 following a battle with cancer, explicitly prohibited commercial use of his music in his will.

(GoldieBlox removed the Beasties’ song prior to the filing of the countersuit.)

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According to a statement issued by the group and the company, the settlement includes an apology from GoldieBlox to be posted on the company’s website and a payment by GoldieBlox, based on a percentage of its revenues, to “one or more charities selected by Beastie Boys that support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for girls.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.