The toy company GoldieBlox has pulled its version of the Beastie Boys song “Girls” from an an online video that became a viral hit, and has said it also may drop a lawsuit that sought a judgment that the parody of the music was fair use.
GoldieBlox posted an open letter to surviving Beastie Boys Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz on its website, saying, “when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late great Adam Yauch [who died in 2012] had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours.”
The toy company makes several products and the video focuses on the ones intended to encourage young girls’ interests in engineering. GoldieBlox said it had created the “Girls” parody as a comment on the song itself; where the original lyrics focused on outdated female roles, the GoldieBlox lyrics celebrated “the many capabilities of girls.”
GoldieBlox filed its suit on Nov. 21, claiming that it was a response to legal threats from Beastie Boys’ attorneys. But the surviving members of the group pointed out that they decided “long ago” not to license their music for advertisements.
“Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video,” GoldieBlox said in the open letter. “In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under legal threat from your legal team.”