GoldieBlox pulls Beastie Boys parody ad, seeks to end legal battle

The company behind the viral ‘Girls’ parody advert write their own open letter.

Last week, a two-minute ad by educational toy company Goldieblox that parodied the Beastie Boys’ 1987 single ‘Girls’ went viral. The lawyers for the Beasties threatened GoldieBlox with a copyright infringement lawsuit, and the toy company filed their own suit, seeking declaratory relief and claiming that the ad constituted fair use.

Earlier this week, the Beastie Boys clarified their stance via an open letter, maintaining that no matter how positive the message, the parody video still constitutes “an advertisement that is designed to sell a product,” contrary to their decision “not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.”

In response, GoldieBlox have issued their own open letter, seeking to put this controversy behind them and to prevent legal action by either party. Claiming to be “completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising,” the company has pulled the ad as a peace offering. The full text is below:

Dear Adam and Mike,

We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.

When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.

Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.

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. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.

Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video. In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.

We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.

Sincerely,

Debbie + Team GoldieBlox

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