What seemed like a cool, happy ending to the Beastie Boys-versus-feminist-appropriation-of-their-song-in-a-toy-commercial saga turns out to be neither an ending nor particularly happy. After threats of lawsuits from both sides, the company eventually agreed to pull the Beastie Boys’ “Girls” from their ad, and that seemed to be that.
Turns out the Beasties are still suing. From their lawsuit, filed in California this week:
GoldieBlox achieved and continues to achieve additional publicity, press coverage, and, upon information and belief, greater sales of its products, as a direct result of the Beastie Boys’ perceived affiliation with the GoldieBlox Advertisement. Unfortunately, rather than developing an original advertising campaign to inspire its customers to create and innovate, GoldieBlox has instead developed an advertising campaign that condones and encourages stealing from others… “The Beastie Boys Parties have suffered and will continue to suffer injury in an amount not presently known… [and] are entitled to recover from GoldieBlox the damages and lost profits they have sustained as a result of GoldieBlox’s unlawful acts of copyright infringement and to recover from GoldieBlox the gains, profits, and advantages GoldieBlox has obtained as a result of the wrongful conduct alleged herein.
The Beastie Boys are vocally opposed to their music being used in advertisements; recently deceased member Adam Yauch expressly prohibited it in his will. Still, the GoldieBlox apology and retraction presented a chance to handle the situation in a manner that didn’t make anyone into the bad guy. The Beastie Boys, especially as musicians who have repurposed others’ compositions to fucking excellent effect in the past, probably should have taken it.