Beastie Boys Countersue GoldieBlox, Seeking Profits Earned Off Viral ‘Girls’ Ad

Legal fight continues over fair use issue

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The fair-use fight between Beastie Boys and GoldieBlox isn't over.

After sparring several weeks ago over the unauthorized use of the Beasties song "Girls" in a GoldieBlox commercial that went viral, the toy company deleted the video and uploaded a new version with a different track (see below). But that did not satisfy the band, which has now countersued, demanding that GoldieBlox hand over profits it earned from using the song without permission, reports Gigaom. The Beasties also seek damages, lawyers' fees and an injunction preventing GoldieBlox from using the song in the future.

The suit claims GoldieBlox is liable for copyright and trademark infringement and sets the stage for a judge to decide whether or not the company's parody of "Girls," with different lyrics, constituted fair use—as GoldieBlox contended in its earlier, preemptive suit against the band. Also interesting: The band says it first heard about the GoldieBlox ad when an ad agency that was submitting the spot to Intuit's "Small Business Big Game" Super Bowl contest (in which GoldieBlox is a finalist) inquired with Universal Music Publishing Group about whether GoldieBlox had secured the rights. (They would have heard about it eventually, of course.)

So, it seems likely that we'll get a decision on the fair use question after all.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: December 11, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT