This week, GoldieBlox, a toy company that sells “toys for future inventors,” unveiled their latest commercial. The visual features three girls playing with a Rube Goldberg-style contraption and singing alternative lyrics to the Beastie Boys song “Girls.” The video, which intends to encourage scientific thought over “princess” culture, has gone viral with 7 million views and ignited a chatterstorm. Apparently, the Beastie Boys aren’t too happy with this development. As The Hollywood Reporter is pointing out, the band is now threatening the toy company with copyright infringement. The band’s lawyers claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use, and that the company’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a “big problem’ that has a “very significant impact.” Goldieblox is now going to a California federal court to get declaratory relief that the video is not a copyright infringement. Here’s what the toy company says about the Beastie Boys’ song in the complaint:
In the lyrics of the Beastie Boys’ song entitled Girls, girls are limited (at best) to household chores, and are presented as useful only to the extent they fulfill the wishes of the male subjects. The GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video takes direct aim at the song both visually and with a revised set of lyrics celebrating the many capabilities of girls. Set to the tune of Girls but with a new recording of the music and new lyrics, girls are heard singing an anthem celebrating their broad set of capabilities—exactly the opposite of the message of the original. They are also shown engaging in activities far beyond what the Beastie Boys song would permit. GoldieBlox created its parody video specifically to comment on 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 theintellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.