The Beastie Boys have threatened to launch a copyright infringement lawsuit against a company called Goldieblox, for what the band claims is unauthorized and unfair use of the 1986 song “Girls.” According to the Hollywood Reporter, the company has already filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief stating that the use of the track is for satirical purposes and not an infringement of the Beastie Boys’ intellectual property.
The legal clash stems from a video that Goldieblox released last Monday (November 18th) in which three girls play with a Rube Goldberg-type contraption and sing alternative lyrics to “Girls” that replace the original sexist words with lyrics about girls pursuing science and technology.
- The video has been viewed seven million times since it went up and has sparked a discussion about girls pursuing careers in science, engineering and other innovative fields.
- Goldieblox stated in its lawsuit that the company “created its parody video with specific goals to make fun of the Beastie Boys song, 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, adding that the video “has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song.”
- The Beastie Boys have claimed through their legal representatives that the use of the song is a “big problem” that has a “very significant impact.”
- Goldieblox is a startup company focused on selling sophisticated toys for girls. The video makes the point that not all young females want dolls or dream of being princesses.
- A judge will decide whether the use of the track is “fair use,” meaning he will look at the purpose and character of its usage, the nature of the track itself, the amount of the music used and the potential effect of the use on the market.
- Surviving Beastie Boys members Adam “King Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Mike “Mike D” Diamondhave been working on a memoir about the group, whose career came to an end with the death in May 2012 of fellow Beastie Adam “MCA” Yauch from cancer.