When toymaker GoldieBlox and the Beastie Boys began butting heads over a parody video of the song “Girls,” it seemed like the California company was ready to fight for its right to parody. GoldieBlox filed a preemptive lawsuit against the hip-hop group as a strategic move to protect itself from allegations of copyright infringement.
However, according to a letter posted on the company’s blog just 6 days after the lawsuit was filed, the battle may be over. Addressing the surviving members of the hip-hop group, GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling assured the Beastie Boys that the song had been removed from its video. Although she contends that the repurposed rap constitutes fair use, Sterling contends that peaceful settlement was always the goal. Sterling says she was particularly affected by the fact “that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising” and wishes to respect his wishes.
Although the lawsuit is technically still pending in a federal district court in San Francisco, Sterling says that GoldieBlox is “ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means [GoldieBlox] will no longer be under threat from [the Beastie Boys’] team.” The smoke hasn’t quite settled, but others are already calling the toymaker’s legal strategy a “big PR win.”
Is the Beastie Boys-GoldieBlox lawsuit one big publicity stunt? Can the toy company keep a straight face and say “We don’t want to fight with you” when they filed the lawsuit?