Beastie Boys Song ‘Girls’ Parody Turns Into Lawsuit

    November 25, 2013

The Beastie Boys’ 1986 album License to Ill included a single entitled, “Girls,” in which the group sings, “Girls to do the dishes/Girls to clean up my room/Girls to do the laundry/Girls and in the bathroom.” Now, a toy company has used that song in a spoof empowering girls, promoting academia instead of being “Princesses.”

GoldieBlox, a San Francisco toy and game company, recently used the tune of “Girls” in a parody of the song. GoldieBlox’s mission is to empower young girls, promoting young women learning about science and technology. In GoldieBlox’s video, a group of girls sing, “Girls build a spaceship/Girls code the new app/Girls that grow up knowing/That they can engineer that.”

The Beastie Boys issued a letter publicly on Monday stating that they own the rights to the song and did not give GoldieBox permission for it to be used.

The band’s letter reads:

“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.”

GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit in California on Thursday, stating that 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.”

The suit included the statement that viewers and the media are well aware of the original song, and their video has reached over 8 million views already. In response, the band has threatened the toy company with filing a lawsuit of their own, citing “copyright infringement,” because the parody is not a “fair use” of the song.

Main image courtesy @Local4News via Twitter.