Beastie Boys and Makers of ‘Girls’ Viral Video Parody Headed to Court

You gotta fight, for your right, to parody. Last week the toy company GoldiBlox—a start-up that makes building and engineering-themed toys marketed to girls—launched an online ad that went viral, showing girls creating a massive Rube Goldberg machine while singing a parody of the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls.” But instead of the demeaning lyrics of the original 1987 single (“Girls to do the dishes/ Girls to clean up my room/ Girls to do the laundry”) the ad challenges gender clichés by changing the verse (Girls to build the spaceship/ Girls to code the new app/ Girls to grow up knowing/ That they can engineer that.” Now, a judge will decide if the ad is an actual parody or is an infringement on the band’s copyrighted song, as the Beastie Boys and GoldiBlox head to court as part of a fair use lawsuit. In their legal claim, the toy company said, “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” …

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