While GoldieBlox aims to sell sophisticated, science-based toys for girls, the startup company refuses to take its hit commercial down without a fight. The ad, which features an alternative version of the Beastie Boys’ hit “Girls,” with new lyrics promoting female empowerment, is said to be the subject of a copyright infringement threat from the band.
According to a lawsuit filed on Thursday by GoldieBlox, “the Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement. Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use and that GoldieBlox’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a ‘big problem’ that has a ‘very significant impact.'” GoldieBlox then went to to a California federal court to get declaratory relief that the video does not amount to copyright infringement. Read the complaint.
Now, the Beastie Boys’ surviving members Mike D and Ad-Rock have penned an open letter to the startup providing some insight into their side of the dispute.
Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,” we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.
We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.
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. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song “Girls” had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.
Additionally, a spokesperson for the Beastie Boys says, “there was no complaint filed, no demand letter — no demand, for that matter — when they sued Beastie Boys.”
Watch GoldieBlox’ commercial below.
This article originally appeared on THR.com.