With 7.4+ million views, and nearly 200,000 Facebook shares, the Goldieblox video “Princess Machine” is one of the most talked about ads of the last week. But not everyone is so enthusiastic about the inspirational video, not least the Beastie Boys whose 1986 hit “Girls” features in the clip, albeit with way less misogynistic lyrics. Goldieblox are suing the group, stating that the Beasties have threatened legal action over the video and are trying to shut it down. In the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California on the 21st November, the toy manufacturer is taking legal action against the group, plus their record label to “clarify the rights of the parties, and to refute the baseless assertion of copyright infringement finally and definitively.” They also want legal confirmation that the video and the use of the song is clearly a parody so it should fall under the Fair Use Doctrine.
Lawyers acting for the Beastie Boys refute this and claim that the use of their song in the video constitutes copyright infringement, and so falls outside Fair Use.
In order to determine Fair Use, the preceding judge in the case will need to ascertain the following criteria: the nature of the copyrighted work, the purpose and character of the use of that work, the effect of the use upon the potential market and the amount and substantiality of the portion taken.
The Beastie Boys have claimed in the past that the song “Girls” itself is a parody.
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