Intellectual PropertyLawsuit Over Beastie Boys’ Song “Girls”

The toy company, GoldieBlox, had a great idea when they decided to use Beastie Boys’ Song “Girls” in a parody ad.  The promotional video went viral with more than 8 million views on YouTube, and was even a finalist to have their ad aired during the upcoming Super Bowl. However, their great idea was a recipe for disaster because that song is Beastie Boys’ intellectual property and the use of it by GoldieBlox constitutes Copyright Infringement.

What Is Copyright Infringement?

A Copyright is a form of intellectual property that provides protection to both published and unpublished products of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. Intellectual property is a product of the human mind that includes ideas, brands, logos, inventions, patents, trademarks and copyrights.  Copyright infringement occurs when someone copies or illegally uses copyrighted information without the owners consent.

In the case of the Beastie Boys, they apparently had a blanket ban on using their songs in advertisements.  Although they were in agreement with the message portrayed by the viral video, they were unhappy that GoldieBlox used their song “Girls” without their permission.  According to usatoday, the Beastie Boys posted an open letter to GoldieBlox in which they are quoted as saying, "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.”  To make matters interesting, GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit against Beastie Boys for use of the song in their ad.  Thankfully, they came to their senses and made the right decision when they removed the parody ad and dropped the lawsuit.  Too bad I didn’t get to see the ad though.  “Girls” is a great song!

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An Intellectual Property Attorney Can Help!

If you are the owner of a unique idea, product or song, it is important to speak to a qualified intellectual property lawyer to help you file your patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  Filing your application will help protect your rights, just as it did with the Beastie Boys.

When involved with any aspect of intellectual property, you  may find it helpful to contact a intellectual property lawyer near you today.

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