GoldieBlox Pulls Parody Video, Drops Lawsuit Against Beastie Boys
After an impending lawsuit, a semi-toxic PR move, and millions of views, GoldieBlox — the Bay Area toy company that sampled the Beastie Boys “Girls” without permission in a viral YouTube video — has relented. The new video, sans the “Girls” parody song, is now up at YouTube, sporting a generic backing track over its original footage, which sparked the publics’ interest with its positive message regarding young women breaking free of gender stereotypes.
GoldieBlox issued an open letter to the Beastie Boys, who originally wrote to the toy company stating that permission to use the track was never granted. Answering back, GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit against the group, claiming that the song was a parody and thus was protected under fair use laws.
The lawsuit was viewed by many as a poor PR move for GoldieBlox, as the Beastie Boys never originally sought legal ramifications. The rap group wrote to GolideBlox, stating: “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.”
In what seems like the final stage in this potential legal battle, GoldieBlox responded to the Beastie Boys in an open letter issued on Wednesday. “We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising,” writes the GoldieBlox team. “Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.”
In the open letter, the company states that they have removed the video and stopped the lawsuit under the condition that, “this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.”
The new version of GoldieBlox video has currently received just over 5,000 views since being uploaded last evening.