Goldieblox vs. Beasties vs. Goldieblox, continued





You know, I don’t care anymore. GoldieBlox was deceitful and manipulative through this entire process. While I’m always one of the first to line up with a “fair use” pitchfork, this may be a rare case where the law serves its intended purpose.

I’m tired of manufactured crises.


Yep. My reaction to this article was, “Okay”.


all i really want is tires.
fucking super badass tires.
cause my caddy needs tires…

gotta fill my hole with cheese.
bel-joy-oh-so fucking cheese.
good on spaghetti, it’s cheese.

i put my money in this bank.
i got some interest from… bank.
i bought some gum from my friend frank.

i guess i can see where a band might not want to open source it’s music, especially if i’m writing copy.


I’ll go one further and say good on them. It would have been easy to let this lie, but the communications coming out of GoldieBlox have been breathtakingly cynical, and it seems certain that they were hoping to just get away with it.

I think in this case, the BB’s are taking the high road.

we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising

Like, fuck you GoldieBlox. That ties my stomach in knots.


The Beastie Boys sure are taking a chance of alienating their upcoming fanbase. The only reason my nephew knows who the Rolling Stones are is because of commercials.


By the time your nephew can afford to buy music the majority of the Stones will be dead. And it’s not like the Stones need the money.


Yeah I gotta say the Beasties don’t come off smelling good to me here (especially given the gawdawful meaning behind Girls from Don’t Be Faggot… oh wait no Licensed to Ill). While I can appreciate people’s finding GB distasteful or not finding their parody working for them (especially in light of Yauch’s desires), I find their version of Girls worked well for me as a parody of the song. I don’t particularly care that GB’s version had commercial value to them, that does not seem like disqualification from fair use to me, when GB’s work clearly provides a cultural re-situation of the original.

The anti-GB animosity comes across to me like fanboyism, so maybe I am just projecting my own aesthetic reaction to the folks siding with the BBoys.


Should that be the only way someone knows the Beastie Boys, I feel safe in saying they would probably rather not have that fan (they’re not, after all, a struggling unknown)


But it’s that commercial value that is the crux of the issue. The Beastie Boys do not want their music used to sell products, which is exactly what this was. If a group of non-commerical girls remade the song (or if it was remade to promote, for example, girl guides), I doubt the beastie boys would have even commented.


How exactly would this counterclaim alienate potential fans? Goldieblox used the song to make the band look bad, so I do not see how this commercial would motivate people to seek out more music from the band.


Oh I understand the Beasties’ desire in that regard. But copyright law does not automatically grant such desires trump over fair use. I understand that this isn’t cut-and-dry, but that goes both ways.


You know what? So what? Life is for the living. The dead can go rot. If MCA has something to say about, he can climb up out his grave and file suit himself. Sure we can all assert our vision and creative control and all that, and that’s great. But when you’re dead, you’re dead. You get no say.


Commercial value is actually not at all the legal crux of the matter. See earlier threads on this same situation for clarification. You can parody any artwork you like, for commercial purposes, to make money with. It may very well be an ethical crux, even a moral crux, but legally it is not an issue with a parody.


The irony of a band that made it’s name violating copyright law now stands against remixing and reinterpreting. Lest we forget the Amen Break. Or hell Paul Revere.


You make it sound like MCA was alone in not wanting his work to be used for advertising. The other two members also do not want to sell their music for commercials. Nobody who has a stake wants to sell the music to commercials.


Perhaps it is true that AdRock and Mike D don’t want it either, but that’s not what the blockquote above said. It exclusively mentions Adam Yauch’s will. If the other two don’t want to, that’s a different situation, and in no way invalidates my position that Yauch doesn’t get a vote.


But it’s not quite that simple, either. While it’s undoubtedly true that parodies that also have commercial value may still be fair use, it’s also true that according to the Supreme Court this calculus changes when the parody is used for advertising purposes (“The use, for example, of a copyrighted work to advertise a product, even in a parody, will be entitled to less indulgence under the first factor of the fair use enquiry, than the sale of a parody for its own sake”). Yes, some circuits have said that parodic advertisements may still be fair use, but I don’t think it’s nearly as cut and dried as it is non-advertorial parodies (and it’s rarely cut and dried to begin with).


A fair point. I wasn’t actually thinking about the legality when I posted that, but rather the BB’s moral standing compared to Goldieblox, as opined by Lexicat. I think the BB’s pointing out their dissatisfaction with their work being reused commercially shouldn’t have resulted in a lawsuit, which still feels to me more like a PR stunt from GB than an actual attempt to ensure legal compliance.