Toy company GoldieBlox has pulled a parody version of the Beastie Boys song "Girls" from an ad for its line of girls' construction toys, while also issuing a statement in which it told the band directly, "We don't want to fight with you." According to Rolling Stone, GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling wrote in a blog post, "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."
GoldieBlox said that it used a new recording of the song, with altered lyrics, to parody the original's sexist slant with a more progressive message about empowering young girls. But when the Beastie Boys' lawyers inquired about the company using the track without permission, GoldieBlox pre-emptively filed a lawsuit to defend itself.
- Sterling wrote that the company was ready to drop the suit they filed last week, "as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team."
- Surviving Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond wrote in an open letter last week, "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."
- The original ad has now been made private on YouTube. Sterling wrote, "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."
- The Beastie Boys have not yet commented on Sterling's message or the removal of the song from the ad.
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Did GoldieBlox remove the song just because it was the right thing to do, or because they realized they would lose a legal fight?
- Does the tone of their letter still sound just a bit...surly?
- Should the Beastie Boys accept their apology and move on, or pursue legal action against the company for using the song in the first place?
- If you are a parent of a little girl, does this make you more or less interested in looking into GoldieBlox products for her?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Rolling Stone -- agree or not?
Alex Carlson wrote: "Though I still hear a bit of a begrudged tone in Goldieblox's response, it's good that they respected the wishes of the band."
Mike Leonard wrote: "'F' Goldieblox... won't (ever) be purchasing any of their products for my 2 girls. They pick a fight then say 'we don't want to fight'... Hypocrites!"
Shayde wrote: "So... you steal the song then sue when asked why you stole it? For a company that makes stuff for girls, that's a lot of balls."
vibe4 wrote: "In other words, we've gotten all this great attention off of your song for free. We'll just quit now while we can still bank some profits."
soundman45 wrote: "'We don't want to fight with you'? Hey, aren't you the ones that brought a pre-emptive suit against the band? It's too late now...Enjoy your day in court!"
HolyNOLA wrote: "I think the Beasties will let this one go now. There's no sense in pouring gasoline on dying embers."
CHECK IT OUT: Read Debbie Sterling's entire post at http://bit.ly/1883Fxt and watch the new version of the ad here:
Read more at Loudwire, Rolling Stone, Billboard and NME