Everyone loved the online ad from GoldieBlox that used a parody version of the Beastie Boys song “Girls” to help make its point about encouraging girls to be interested in toys that are more science-y than princess-y. Even the Beastie Boys praised the ad…but that doesn’t mean they want their music used to sell a commercial product.
“As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product,” the surviving band members wrote in an open letter to Goldieblox. No exceptions, even for adorable future engineers.
The toy company took their ad down later today. It’s been replaced with a version featuring instrumental music on the company’s website, and the original YouTube video is no longer public.
“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,” the company wrote in their blog post announcing their plan to back down on the whole “parody” and “fair use” argument. Of course, if Team Goldieblox were paying attention last summer when the Beastie Boys sued Monster Energy Drink over their distribution of the group’s tunes, they would know that the late Adam Yauch had a clause in his will that specifically prohibited the use of any of his music in ads. Not that the group allowed it when he was alive, either.
Here’s the new version of the ad, with a similar but not copyright-violating instrumental song as the backdrop.
Our letter to the Beastie Boys [Goldieblox blog]