GoldieBlox Changes Music in Viral Video to Appease Beastie Boys

No more fair use argument.

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GoldieBlox, a company that makes engineering toys for girls and swept the Internet this week with a viral video, has released a new version of its ad after a conflict over the music that plays in the background.

In the video (which already has over 8 million views on YouTube), three adorable girls build a giant Rube Goldberg machine out of toys to the tune of the Beastie Boys’ “Girls.” While the original song has misogynistic lyrics about finding girls to “do the dishes” and “clean the laundry,” the GoldieBlox version sings about girls who want to “build a spaceship” and “code a new app.”

The Beastie Boys called up GoldieBlox to say that, on his deathbed, one of their members, Adam Yauch, said he never wanted the song to be used in commercials. In response, GoldieBlox preemptively sued the Beastie Boys, claiming that their use of “Girls” is fair use and does not constitute copyright infringement. The controversy has sparked a debate about the right to parody on Twitter.

But GoldieBlox quickly changed its tune. Late Tuesday night, GoldieBlox uploaded a new video to YouTube — sans song and lyrics of any sort. GoldieBlox also posted a “Letter to the Beastie Boys” on their site Wednesday that apologizes for the use of the song.

4 comments
NoMinorChords
NoMinorChords

So, Goldieblox took a Beastie Boys song and used it in a commercial without paying, then had the chutzpah to preemptively sue the Beasties (asking the court to rule that their theft was "fair use.") They managed to portray this as striking a blow for girls' liberation and against sexism, conveniently ignoring the fact that the ORIGINAL was a parody of sexism. Then by promoting news of the lawsuit they managed to get the interazzi to believe it was the Beastie Boys who sued them! All in all, a fantastic stunt that got them millions in publicity at a low cost but damaged both the Beastie's reputation (yeah, buncha sexist pigs) and their ability to license the song in the future.

I bring this up because this is a manipulation of a liberal value I agree with: girls should not be stereotyped. And yet all the good anti-sexists who jumped on the bandwagon (You go girls! Amazing video! Inspiring! Whatever, Barbie!) ought to look at how they were taken.

c_man7713
c_man7713

@NoMinorChords One comment, the original was definitely NOT a parody of sexism, and Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys acknowledged as much later in their careers and refused to play that song live because they knew it was sexist.  As much as I was very angry with GoldieBlox earlier in the week, I think this response was very face-saving.  As a father of a young girl, I see way too often the problems that GoldieBlox is trying to fight (everything is pink princesses in the "girl" isle) and I believe they have the best intentions.  At this point I consider the matter closed and I will be buying my daughter some goldieblox for christmas again, which I was not going to do when I read the story on Monday.

eufi_p
eufi_p

@c_man7713 Goldieblox having the "best" intentions? Indeed they do! They have the best intentions to make as much publicity and as much money possible, and I have to say, they probably will succeed at it. They are trying to "solve" a problem with a solution that has not necessary.

Btw, many women in the world that are engineers and researchers today did not grow up with Goldieblox. 40% of the workforce in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in China consists of women. I highly doubt they had the luxury of Goldieblox and such toys aimed at women. What happened to the good old unisex toys (Lego, Leapfrog)?

Goldieblox does an extremely good job convincing people like you that you need a commodity that HAS ALREADY BEEN INVENTED. (seriously, Lego.)

and before you buy into this toy, please actually read the reviews instead of just going with the publicity:http://www.amazon.com/review/R3PECWYG0AR1MG/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00BCXU3PQ&nodeID=165793011&store=toys-and-games#wasThisHelpful

C_Ryback
C_Ryback

This was just like OweBama (D), wanting to "share the wealth." By grabbing others' earnings and work.

Will never, ever by anything from that company.