The Beastie Boys have always pushed back against their music being used in any shape or form without their express sign-off throughout the length of the group’s illustrious run, going as far as to bring legal proceedings to the advertising department of Monster, after the company used “Sabotage”, “So Whatcha Want,” and “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”in commercials.
This time around, it is a San Francisco start-up toy company that has over-stepped their bounds in using Beastie Boys content without permission by making a parody video of the song “Girls”. The perpetrator is GoldieBlox, who’s mission statement reads they are a company that “believes there are a million girls out there who are engineers. They just might not know it yet. We think GoldieBlox can show them the way.” It’s not a bad slogan, better than most of what is sold to young women these days, but Ad Rock and Mike D weren’t having it and wrote an open letter to the company, which you can read below. For their part, GoldieBlox counter-sued, alleging the company “created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes.” Check out the video and letter below.
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.