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GoldieBlox Removes Popular Video After Legal Fight With the Beastie Boys

A popular startup company has given up after a brief yet public legal fight with the Beastie Boys over copyright infringement.

That company is GoldieBlox, the girls game-maker that produced a video featuring three young girls and a re-write of the 1987 Beastie Boys song “Girls.” It was cute. It was clever. And it went viral, getting more than 7 million views in YouTube in about a week.

But the Beastie Boys weren’t thrilled. Late last week, the music group’s legal team contacted GoldieBlox, claiming the parody video is a copyright infringement. GoldieBlox fought back, filing legal documents in California federal court in hopes of receiving a “declaratory judgment” stating that its parody video and is protected by the Fair Use Doctrine and doesn’t infringe any copyrights.

But the fight is over. GoldieBlox has given up. In a letter posted to the company’s website, GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling says she doesn’t want to “spend our time fighting legal battles.” The video has been taken down.

Here’s the full copy of GoldieBlox’s note:

Dear Adam and Mike,

We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans.

When we made our parody version of your song, ‘Girls’, we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to take a song we weren’t too proud of, and transform it into a powerful anthem for girls. Over the past week, parents have sent us pictures and videos of their kids singing the new lyrics with pride, building their own Rube Goldberg machines in their living rooms and declaring an interest in engineering. It’s been incredible to watch.

Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you.

We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch 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.

Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video. In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.

We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends.

Sincerely,

Debbie + Team GoldieBlox

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