Nov. 25 (UPI) -- An advertisement for GoldieBlox's brand tech-based toys for girls went viral last week, garnering praise for its attempt to dismantle so-called "pink aisle" toy branding. In the ad, three girls assemble a Rube Goldberg machine to a rewritten version of the 1987 Beastie Boys hit "Girls."
But when GoldieBlox heard that the Beastie Boys were looking into the group's use of its music, the San Francisco-based startup filed a complaint with a California federal court to guard against a copyright infringement suit.
"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 said in the complaint. "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."
On Monday, the Beastie Boys responded stressing that they hadn't made any moves to sue.
Mike D and Ad-Rock -- who became the surviving members of the Beastie Boys when Adam Yauch died in 2012 -- penned an open letter in response to GoldieBlox's complaint:
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.
[The Hollywood Reporter, EW]