“We don’t want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans,” wrote Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based toy company, in a blog post directed at the band on Wednesday. “Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect [Adam Yauch's] wishes and yours.”
On Monday, the Beastie Boys issued an open letter to GoldieBlox acknowledging the ad’s creativity, but condemned the use of its 1987 hit song in its campaign.
“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,” read the letter obtained by The New York Times.
The use of the song was viewed by surviving members Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond as openly flouting a “notwithstanding anything to the contrary” clause in the will of late-Beastie Boy member Adam Yauch that prohibited the use of his music for advertising purposes.
GoldieBlox claims it was unaware of Yauch’s final request.
The toy company originally filed a lawsuit against the band in United States District Court in the Northern District of California last week after record label Island Def Jam accused GoldieBlox of copyright infringement.
GoldieBlox argued it created the parody video 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,” according to court documents filed Nov. 21. But in an act of love for the band, the company removed the song and expressed its desire to step away from any legal battle.
The original "Princess Machine" video, uploaded to YouTube last week, was viewed over eight million times before it was pulled Tuesday.
Read the GoldieBlox’s full letter below:
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.
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