The Beastie Boys are embroiled in a copyright infringement battle with the toy company GoldieBlox about an ad the company made featuring an alternate version of the band's song, "Girls," Billboard reports.
According to a lawsuit filed Thursday by GoldieBlox, which makes science-based toys for girls, they say that the Beastie Boys threatened the company with copyright infringement and using their intellectual property without authorization. The company went to a California federal court to get declaratory relief that the video, which features new lyrics about female empowerment, does not amount to copyright infringement.
However, the two surviving members of the Beastie Boys, Mike D and Ad-Rock, want to make sure their side of the story is heard too. A spokesperson for the Beastie Boys denies that the group was the first to take legal action. "There was no complaint filed, no demand letter — no demand, for that matter — when they sued Beastie Boys." The group members also penned an open letter to GoldieBlox:
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.
Watch the ad below: