The Beastie Boys’ recent battle with upstart toy company GoldieBlox is one of the most contentious copyright conflicts in recent memory. Although many of us thought the episode was winding to a close, it now looks like this was premature: last week, the Beastie Boys filed their defense and counterclaims in a California federal court. Here’s a recap of the story so far.
First, GoldieBlox created an online advertisement titled “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & The Beastie Boys” that used the 1986 Beasties hit “Girls”—a song which expressed juvenile sexist attitudes, possibly with satiric intent. The GoldieBlox ad changed the song’s sophomoric lyrics to mock the way toys are typically marketed to girls, while promoting products that cultivate girls’ interest in physics & engineering. The video went viral, earning widespread media attention and racking up millions of views.