GoldieBlox, a social enterprise that makes engineering toys for young girls and took the Internet by storm with a viral video launched last week, has replaced the video with a new version – one that doesn’t have the song “Girls” by the Beastie Boys.
To make a long story short, the legal representatives of the Beastie Boys contacted GoldieBlox, claiming (not suing for) copyright infringement of the original video’s use of the Beastie Boys’ song. According to reports, GoldieBlox had never asked for permission to use the song, but argued that they didn’t infringe on any copyrights because the video was a parody, and that they were protected under the doctrine of fair use. GoldieBlox, as a result, felt the need to file for a declaratory judgment (a lawsuit), which is done to declare that their actions are “fair use”.
In a quick turn of events, GoldieBlox decided to take the original video down and upload a new one late Tuesday night.
They also wrote an open letter to the Beastie Boys, explaining their actions and hoping to end the fiasco so that everyone can go back to what they were doing, and possibly become friends:
Dear Adam and Mike,
We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.
When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.
Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.
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.
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.
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.
Debbie + Team GoldieBlox
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