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Beastie Boys Write Open Letter to GoldieBlox Over Copyright Dispute

November 25, 2013  |  4:15pm
Beastie Boys Write Open Letter to GoldieBlox Over Copyright Dispute

GoldieBlox, a company that prides itself on providing alternative, science-themed toys for young girls, recently released an ad attacking gender stereotypes in the marketplace.

In a campaign that has gone viral in a matter of days (gathering over 8 million page views in a week), the video shows a group of girls engineering a massive, homemade erector set with a parody of Beastie Boys’ “Girls” playing in the background. “Girls, you think you know what we want. Girls, pink and pretty, just like the fifties…”

Beastie Boys members have long since made it known that their music was never to be used in product ads. It was also revealed last year that the recent MCA’s (Adam Yauch) will contained a clause ensuring that no Beastie Boys song would ever be used for commercial purposes. The will states that MCA’s “image, music and any art he created [can] not be used for advertising.” Surviving members Mike D and Ad-Rock have written that while they are impressed by the ad, the company still didn’t ask for permission to use their work:

”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.

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.”

GoldieBlox stated in a preemptive claim against the Beastie Boys that the video is a “parody video with specific goals to make fun of the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect.”

Check out the ad and listen to the original Beastie Boys track below.

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