Rock it Out! Blog: “Beastie Boys, GoldieBlox, and the Issue of Fair Use”

Get this: Beastie Boys are being sued by a company using their song without permission. Wait, what? Yes, it’s true: last week, feminist toy company GoldieBlox soundtracked their new commercial with a parodied version of Beasties’ “Girls”. The video has since gone viral, with some going as far to deem it a new anthem for feminists. The only problem? Beastie Boys never signed off on GoldieBlox’s usage of the song. In fact, when they attempted to contact GoldieBlox, they were met with a preemptive lawsuit seeking to get the song classified under fair use.

“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,” Beastie Boys’ Mike D and Ad-Rock said in a statement issued today. “We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.”

“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.”

On today’s Rock it Out! Blog, Sami invites Consequence of Sound Director of Marketing Dan Pfleegor to discuss the lawsuit, how fair use works in a case such as this, and whether the Beasties or GoldieBlox has the upper hand.

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