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Music PopWrapped | Music

Beastie Boys Caught In A Copyright Feud Over Viral Toy Video

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


11/25/2013 8:28 pm
PopWrapped | Music
Beastie Boys Caught In A Copyright Feud Over Viral Toy Video
Media Courtesy of New York Times

Jason Scott

Staff Writer

Trouble is brewing for the Beastie Boys. The group, comprised of surviving members Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz, is caught in a copyright feud surrounding the GoldieBlox viral parody video that first circulated the web last week. The video, nearly playing out like an advertisement, attempts to break down the gender stereotypes found in the band's "Girls" song, lifted from their 1986 hip-hop album Licensed to Ill. GoldieBlox is a startup based in San Francisco. The company's main goal is to encourage young girls to learn about science and technology through cleverly crafted videos. In the past, the company has utilized the catalogs of Queen and other pop artists for its cause. In this case, the Beastie Boys support the video's message but disagree with the execution. "Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial 'GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,' we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad," they said in an open letter on Monday (Nov. 25). "We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering." Previously, the group has taken a political stance against using their music to sell products. They continued in their open letter, "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." Yes, you read that correctly. The company filed a suit last week, asserting their right to use the music in the video. It claims that they “created [the] parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes," adding that the video “has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song.” Here is a sample of the original lyrics, thanks to Vulture: Girls to do the dishes Girls to clean up my room Girls to do the laundry Girls and in the bathroom. In response, GoldieBlox's viral video (which has racked up over eight million views) takes a more progressive stance: Girls build a spaceship Girls code the new app Girls that grow up knowing That they can engineer that. The situation is bound to become even more complicated as the week wears on. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the GoldieBlox parody:


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