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Beastie Boys Pen Open Letter Regarding Alleged Misuse of Song

Roger Kisby, Getty Images

Surviving Beastie Boys Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz wrote an open letter discussing their on-going legal battle with feminist toy company GoldieBlox. It all began with the American company’s clever commercial for their toys (seen below), which seek to encourage young girls interested in engineering. However, the ad uses a parody of the Beastie Boys’ song, ‘Girls,’ in which young girls sing about gender stereotypes found in many girls’ toys.

The Beastie Boys, who don’t allow the use of their music or name in any advertisements, sent GoldieBlox a letter threatening to sue over copyright infringement. GoldieBlox turned around and filed a declaratory judgment in California that argues their version is protected under fair use, as it’s a parody intended to critique the original song.

Now, the Beastie Boys have written an open letter in response to GoldieBlox.

“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,” the hip-hop outfit wrote. “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,” they added. “When we tried to simply ask how and why our song ‘Girls’ had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.”

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