Viral GoldieBlox Video Sparks Copyright Claim From Beastie Boys

Viral GoldieBlox Video Sparks Copyright Claim From Beastie Boys

With 7.4+ million views, and nearly 200,000 Facebook shares, the Goldieblox video "Princess Machine" is one of the most talked about ads of the last week. But not everyone is so enthusiastic about the inspirational video, not least the Beastie Boys whose 1986 hit "Girls" features in the clip, albeit with way less misogynistic lyrics. Goldieblox are suing the group, stating that the Beasties have threatened legal action over the video and are trying to shut it down. In the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California on the 21st November, the toy manufacturer is taking legal action against the group, plus their record label to “clarify the rights of the parties, and to refute the baseless assertion of copyright infringement finally and definitively.” They also want legal confirmation that the video and the use of the song is clearly a parody so it should fall under the Fair Use Doctrine.

Lawyers acting for the Beastie Boys refute this and claim that the use of their song in the video constitutes copyright infringement, and so falls outside Fair Use.

In order to determine Fair Use, the preceding judge in the case will need to ascertain the following criteria: the nature of the copyrighted work, the purpose and character of the use of that work, the effect of the use upon the potential market and the amount and substantiality of the portion taken.

The Beastie Boys have claimed in the past that the song "Girls" itself is a parody.

[Video removed from YouTube]

Stats: YouTube & Unruly

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About the Author -
Carla Marshall is the Managing Editor of ReelSEO. She joined the site in 2012 as staff writer and Director of SEO and specialises in video optimisation and organic marketing. She has a background in search and social media. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://www.JoshRimer.com/ Josh Rimer

    That's clearly a parody so should definitely fall under fair use. I'm glad they're standing up to the record company. It's almost impossible for me to monetize my parodies on YouTube anymore because the system works in the favor of the companies making the claim.

    • Carla Marshall

      I find it ironic that a group that samples other artists to death can turn round and pull rank on a company that, I believe, has a strong case for Fair Use. It's not like they didn't credit the Beastie Boys – they even get a mention in the video's title!

  • Mitch Powell

    I hope this goes to the highest courts, we need some good case law.

  • willbuckley

    Carla, you are not only biased as a reporter, you even have the arrogance to argue your point in the comment section of your own article, as you have with Josh here.

    Unbelievable.

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