Growth Strategies

In New Lawsuit, Beastie Boys Say GoldieBlox Acted 'Despicably With Oppression, Fraud and Malice'

In New Lawsuit, Beastie Boys Say GoldieBlox Acted 'Despicably With Oppression, Fraud and Malice'
Image credit: billboard.com
Beastie Boys
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What at first seemed like a cute and even well-intentioned video advertisement has spiraled into a legal mess for one startup company.

The Beastie Boys have joined a lawsuit filed by Def Jam, Sony and Rick Rubin against toymaker GoldieBlox over its unauthorized use of the song "Girls" in a YouTube video ad that went viral in a matter of days.

The pioneering punk-turned-rap trio accused the toy company of acting "intentionally and despicably with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Beastie Boys," and, that the company's massive sales increase was a direct result of the use of "Girls."

The song was used without permission in a YouTube video that quickly garnered more than 7 million views in about a week. After the Beastie Boys inquired about the use of their song in the video, GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit for "injunctive relief" against the Beastie Boys, Def Jam, Sony, Rick Rubin and Adam Horovitz.

Related: GoldieBlox Removes Popular Video After Legal Fight With the Beastie Boys

"Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use, and that GoldieBlox's unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a 'big problem' that has a 'very significant impact,'" the lawsuit said.

In response the Beastie Boys wrote an open letter to say that wasn't the case.

"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 letter said.

The Beastie Boys' lawsuit notes that the company has created similar ads with unauthorized music from Daft Punk and Queen.

In an important precedent noted by Reuters, Campbell vs Acuff-Rose Music, the judge ruled that "the use of a copyrighted work to advertise a product, even in a parody, will be entitled to less indulgence" than "the sale of a parody for its own sake."

Either way, there's no arguing that GoldieBlox has drummed up a ton of publicity -- both positive and negative -- from the situation. You can read the full Beastie Boys legal complaint below.

Related: GoldieBlox and Beastie Boys In Copyright Infringement Fight Over Viral Video
 

Beastie Boys Response to GoldieBlox

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.