UPDATE: A representative for the Beastie Boys have reached out to us to point out two things: The first is that GoldieBlox are actually the ones filing the lawsuit, and that no complaint was registered with the Boys before the litigation was announced.
Nasty Little Man, Beastie Boys' press agency, released this statement:
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.
Oh, boo. While pretty much the entire world has been charmed and delighted by the GoldieBlox video featuring three industrious little ladies crooning their own version of "Girls" by the Beastie Boys, it seems the ad has found its first opponent. Unfortunately, that opponent happens to be, um, the Beastie Boys.
Yes, Mike D and Ad-Rock have taken umbrage with the fact that their 1987 hit has been used in the GoldieBlox "Princess Machine" video, even if the lyrics about females doing dishes and cleaning up have been changed to girl-power concepts like gals building spaceships and coding.
According to legal papers filed by GoldieBlox in a preemptive suit, the company asserts that the hip-hoppers registered complaints over claims of copyright infringement, though GoldieBlox asserts that the use of "Girls" in the parody falls under fair use.
"GoldieBlox created its parody video with specific goals to make fun of the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company's goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math," the company says. "The GoldieBlox Girls parody video has gone viral on the Internet and has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song."
The issue here is whether or not GoldieBlox can claim fair use if the ad's intent is to sell toys and make a commercial profit. Until this gets settled, though, we'd say you might want to hold off on releasing that "Hey, Ladies" parody. (The Hollywood Reporter)