Goldieblox Took That "Girls" Ad Down

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 09:19 AM

The Beastie Boys: (L-R) Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch at the 11th Annual Webby Awards in 2007. The Beastie Boys: (L-R) Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch at the 11th Annual Webby Awards in 2007. (Bryan Bedder/Getty)

Today, Goldieblox wrote an open letter response to the Beastie Boys open letter (relatedly, everyone knows you can privately mail a letter too, right?) saying that they have taken that "Girls" parody ad down.

Dear Adam and Mike,

We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.

When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.

Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.

We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.

Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video. In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.

We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.


Debbie + Team GoldieBlox

It sounds like this might be the end of the whole saga, as its hard to imagine that the Beastie Boys' lawyers would press on, since all they wanted in the first place was a takedown.

One last interesting wrinkle. Since Monday, it's emerged that Goldieblox similarly used Queen's "We Are the Champions" in an ad without permission, and in a less obviously parodic way. I'm curious to see if Goldieblox stops doing this sort of thing. After all, the "Girls" ad generated a lot of free publicity and very little legal consequence. 


UPDATE 9:35AM: Missed this, but a new version of the ad is up. It's the same video, just recut with a new song. It's over here, if you want to see it. Thanks to Luigi Montanez for the catch.


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Comments [5]



Dec. 13 2013 09:40 PM
ada898 from londen

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Dec. 13 2013 01:13 AM
Charlie from Seattle

Funny, I found that to be a pretty poor response. At no time do they actually apologize for doing something wrong and still hold to the parody and fair use themes, which are obviously not true. This was advertising plain and simple. It may be advertising a great project and have very admirable intentions, but it was still advertising and they were still using a song that isn't theirs to sell a product.

I remain very disappointed in this company that, when I first learned of it, I was very excited to support.

Dec. 01 2013 03:57 PM
dkhlee from California

If they had only, as a courtesy, let Beastie Boys know, this might have been avoided.I don't think there are any villains here.

Nov. 27 2013 02:00 PM
Dave J. from Michigan

What an articulate and honest response. The very pragmatism Debbie shows here is just what I would expect from my scientist-to-be daughter. Adjustable, flexible, ready to call a fail with her experiment and move on. This is awesome, and I expect equal awesome response from the B-Boys.

Nov. 27 2013 12:29 PM

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TLDR is a short podcast and blog about the internet by Meredith Haggerty. You can subscribe to the TLDR podcast here. You can follow our blog here. I tweet @manymanywords and @tldr.

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