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Beastie Boys (Finally) Sue GoldieBlox Over Copyright Infringement

The copyright vs. parody battle continues
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Annie Reuter
Annie Reuter
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Beastie Boys (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

Beastie Boys (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

The Beastie Boys‘ 1987 single “Girls” was retooled earlier this year by girl-centric toy company GoldieBlox into a girl power anthem commercial that encourages young girls to have fun with science and engineering, a choice that has since blown up in the start-up’s proverbial face. And the hits just keep coming.

While some think GoldieBlox used the song to drum up controversy, they later pulled the commercial and issued an apology. The Beastie Boys, however, aren’t satisfied and have just sued the company.

The lawsuit states that GoldieBlox “has acted intentionally and despicably with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Beastie Boys.” The suit adds that the commercial “directly coincided with and directly resulted in a massive increase in the sales of GoldieBlox products.”

Additionally, the Beastie Boys argue that the GoldieBlox advertisement “Girls,” constitutes “copyright infringement and is not fair use.”

The toy company filed a preemptive lawsuit against the Beastie Boys in November stating: “GoldieBlox created its parody video specifically to comment on 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, 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.”

However, in the Beastie Boys’ suit they counterclaim this argument, stating that instead of inspiring the next generation of female engineers, GoldieBlox have “engaged in the systematic infringement of intellectual property from numerous popular music groups, including Beastie Boys.”

The lawsuit claims that the toy company has infringed upon other artists, including Queen, Daft Punk, Kaskade, Krewella, Avicii, Slam, k.flay and Trevor Guthrie. As part of that infringement, they claim that GoldieBlox has “created a series of video advertisements set to well-known songs from popular artists in an effort to achieve the company’s primary goal of selling toys.”

Earlier this year, GoldieBlox released a video that was based on Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” Titled, “GoldieBlox Breaks into Toys R Us,” the video, which has since been made private, received over a million views. Commercials using Daft Punk, Kaskade, Krewella, Avicii, Slam, k.flay and Trevor Guthrie’s music can no longer be found online, either.

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