Beastie Boys vs. GoldieBlox: Viral Video Sparks Legal Battle Over Copyright Infringement [Women in Mining] – by Sara Gates (The Huffington Post – November 24, 2013)

Millions of viewers around the world may love the GoldieBlox commercial that soared to Internet fame last week, but apparently the Beastie Boys aren’t happy with one aspect of the girl-empowerment music video.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the hip-hop band has accused the toy company of copyright infringement for the unauthorized use of their 1987 hit “Girls”. They are reportedly arguing that GoldieBlox’s adaption of the song does not qualify as fair use, and claiming that the inclusion of “Girls” in the video is a “big problem” that has a “very significant impact.”

The toy company responded in kind by preemptively filing a lawsuit against the Beastie Boys, their record label, producer Rick Rubin and band member Adam Horovitz in California federal court Thursday. GoldieBlox is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to “vindicate the rights” of the toy company in connection with the parody video set to the tune of what GoldieBlox and its lawyers are calling a “highly sexist song,” according to a copy of the complaint.

The startup, founded two years ago by engineer Debbie Sterling, designs construction toys for girls. To bolster the company’s ideals, GoldieBlox rewrote the lyrics of “Girls” and filmed three young girls singing the tune while setting off an intricate Rube Goldberg machine.

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