Published Dec 11, 2013Late last month, the Beastie Boys got in a legal squabble with the toymakers at GoldieBlox, who went viral with a commercial featuring a parody version of the classic Beasties track "Girls." The band threatened a lawsuit, which prompted GoldieBlox to file a lawsuit of its own, but the company eventually removed the video, and we thought the whole thing had been smoothed over. Apparently, the Beastie Boys don't consider the issue resolved, however, since they've now filed a lawsuit.
While GoldieBlox has argued that the parody constitutes fair use, the Beasties claim that it's copyright infringement. As Reuters reports, the suit, which is dated December 10 and was filed by the Beastie Boys, the estate of Adam Yauch, Def Jam, Sony and Rick Rubin, says that the company "has acted intentionally and despicably with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Beastie Boys Parties." It adds that the advertisement "condones and encourages stealing from others."
The documents further allege that GoldieBlox is guilty of "misleading and deceiving the public into believing that the Beastie Boys Parties' goods and services are associated with or authorized by GoldieBlox."
The lawsuit added, "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 rappers say that the toymaker enjoyed a massive boost in sales once the ad went viral; the musicians are seeking the "gains, profits, and advantages" from the sales.
Plus, the lawsuit notes that the company has created similar ads that allegedly used unauthorized music from Daft Punk and Queen.
The Beasties' opposition to the commercial was at least in part due to the late Adam "MCA" Yauch's will, which specified that the group's music not be used in advertising.
In the lawsuit, the band are seeking actual damages and lost profits resulting from the advertisement, the complete removal of the ad, and a permanent injunction to prevent future infringement against the Beastie Boys.
The suit, which is dense and full of legalese, can be read here.