Commercial Break: Beastie Boys get sued after GoldieBlox parody them?!

26 November 2013

Famous hits from the charts have been used, skewed and parodied for years, but the surviving members of The Beastie Boys have found themselves in a weird position after someone mucked around with one of their songs.

Mike D and Ad-Rock have written an open letter to a toy company called GoldieBlox who have, weirdly (and allegedly) sued the band after parodying their '87 single 'Girls' in an advert.

See it here.

The Beasties said that GoldieBlox who decided to involve lawyers over the song after the band approached them to ask why they had not asked permission to use the song.

The open letter says: "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."

You may remember that when founding member MCA died, he asked the band to avoid using their songs in commercials. Yet, here they are, getting sued because someone did a parody of them in an advert. This has to be one of the strangest motions in retail.

For those who don't know the original track, here it is.

TOPICS:   Advertising   Not The Onion


  • Dacouch
  • fox f.
    I hope the Beasties rip them a new arsehole & bankrupt the fuckers, their music, their choice, their rights infringed. Beligerent "toy" company.
  • Samantha
    The rules over what is considered parody / a derivative work / what is an acceptable amount to sample / what is just a blatant rip off in music are complicated or at least they are to me. Like the guy get sued over the ghostbusters theme tune, but it's ok for Weird Al to use basically an identical musical score as long as he changes the words? I don't really get where the line is here. It does seem clear here though that parody or not, it is clearly the same song and it is being used in direct contravention to the band's well known wishes. So pretty crappy. I hope they come to an amicable settlement though because it's an awesome advert and looks like a really awesome company too.
  • shakesheadsadly
    Weird Al always gets permission.

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