Art Law Report

Now who’s rapping like it’s a commercial? The Beastie Boys counterclaim against GoldieBlox Web advertisement

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on December 11, 2013 at 3:28 AM

After GoldieBlox announced with great fanfare that it would withdraw its claim seeking a declaratory judgment that its use in a video of the Beastie Boys song “Girls” was a fair use under the Copyright Act, many assumed that was the end of it and that the only point for discussion was GoldieBlox’s motivation. As we pointed out at the time, however, that “offer” was not accompanied by a dismissal of the already filed lawsuit. Presumably, the Beastie Boys either declined, or failed to respond, because the band has now answered the Complaint and filed counterclaims, alleging copyright and trademark infringement.

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Topics: Cariou v. Prince, Copyright Act, Campbell v. Acuff Rose Music Inc., Green Day, Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch, “Girls”, GoldieBlox, Copyright, Adam Horowitz, Beastie Boys, Fair Use

GoldieBlox Parodies the Beastie Boys and “Girls”—Fair Use is Clear, What About Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”?

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on November 26, 2013 at 6:35 AM

Coverage has exploded this week of a dispute between the Beastie Boys and a company called “GoldieBlox,” over the latter’s use of the song “Girls” in a video encouraging engineering and structural play toys for girls. Despite coverage focusing on whether Goldie Box copied the Beastie Boys’ song (which is undisputed, really, and thus beside the the point in this case), the fair use of the earlier song is clear: the new version is a parody of a leering anthem, intended to subvert inherent sexism into a message of empowerment. Curiously, however, the fair use in another video on the company’s site using the Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody” seems less clear, but so far unnoticed.

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Topics: License to Ill, Copyright Act, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Queen, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA, Adam Yauch, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Girls”, GoldieBlox, Copyright, MCA, Beastie Boys, Fair Use

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