GoldieBlox Toy Company Pulls 'Girls' Viral Ad After Beastie Boys Dispute
The catchy toy commercial showed three girl engineers creating one of the most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines the Internet had ever seen and reworked the original 1987 hit's lyrics "Girls to do the dishes, girls to do the laundry" to "Girls to build the spaceship, girls to code the new app."
The video, first posted to YouTube Nov. 17, racked up millions of views on YouTube but also stirred up some copyright controversy.
Beastie Boys band members took issue with the use of their song for commercial purposes. In a pre-emptive move, GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit stating that "The Beastie Boys threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement" over the use of its "highly sexist song 'Girls.'" While the company claimed that by changing the lyrics the song became a parody and protected them from any future legal action, the band disagreed, writing an open letter to clarify its stance.
Now, in another open letter on the GoldieBlox website, the company's founders said that as "huge fans" they would honor the request of Beasty Boy Adam Yauch not to use the song commercially.
"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," they wrote. "Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours."
The company removed the "Girls" version of the video and posted a new one Tuesday night, set to music without any lyrics, and said it would drop the lawsuit.
"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," the letter reads. "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."