licensed-to-ill

There is a controversy brewing that has people talking…a lot..and according to Spin Magazine it all centers around a new toy company called the Goldie Blox toy company. Take a look at the video below to see what has people so divided about what the company is doing and the way that they’ve gone about doing it!

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The Goldie Blox toy people admit they “parodied” the song Girls by the Beastie Boys. The video shows “girl power” on an entirely different level we think all can agree on this. They also make a wonderful point..there have always been girls who weren’t in to the “pink aisle” as they call it in toy stores. Girls have often wanted to play with more cerebral toys but were told those toys were “for boys”.  Why is this? Why do we create toys that encourage boys to be doctors, scientists, engineers and mechanics but we teach girls how to make a mean cupcake and burp their babies all while looking smashing in a tierra and high heels? Are we really that shocked that we have a nation full of Kim Kardashian wannabees instead of girls who think it rocks to be smart and who flaunt their intelligence instead of their sexuality?

The need for these toys and more of them from toy makers across the board truly exists. Goldie Blox has done a wonderful job of getting that message out but…there is a serious problem with the way this song for the video was created. A huge problem in fact….the song was never cleared for use by the Beastie Boys and that is a colossal no no. So much so in fact that the Goldie Blox people received word from the Beastie camp letting them know they were none too pleased.

Okay so for those who don’t see what the problem could possibly be check out the original song done in the mid to late 80’s by the Beasties below.

Now the differences are very apparent…we get that. The Beastie Boys song is about Ad Rock wanting to hook up with a girl that liked MCA and after she turns him down she…”jocks Mike D to his dismay”! It’s clearly not the same message that was in the Goldie Blox song however…Goldie Blox has shown enormous disrespect for the Beasties and their music by not asking their permission to use the song for the dope ad that they cut. And that is NEVER OK on any basis. What makes it worse is that it is being reported that the dearly departed Beastie Boy MCA aka Adam Yauch never ever wanted his music used for commercial purposes. So much so that he allegedly wrote it into his will! Ummm uh oh! So not only did Goldie Blox jack the song, they did so against MCA’s final will and testament? Man that is all bad everything!

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To add insult to injury…Goldie Blox is now preemptively suing both the Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin as they are concerned that the Beasties are going to insist they not use the dope ad that they have created. Apparently Beastie lawyers contacted them and said,

“The Goldie Blox “Girls” Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use, and Goldie Blox’s unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a ‘big problem’ that has a ‘very significant impact.'”

This apparently spooked the Goldie Blox people so much so that they are now headed to a California federal court in the hopes of getting an official ruling that the advertisement does fall within fair use. The suit names the Beastie Boys, producer Rick Rubin, Island Def Jam Music Group, Sony Music Publishing Group, and Universal Music Publishing as defendants.

Goldie Blox feels that its commercial featuring a parody of the Licensed to Ill track “Girls” shouldn’t qualify as copyright infringement and as of Thursday November 21, 2013 filed a lawsuit saying that the Beastie Boys recently threatened the toymakers with copyright infringement.

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The Goldie Blox complaint says,

“Goldie Blox created its parody video with specific goals to make fun of the Beastie Boys song and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The Goldie Blox Girls Parody Video has gone viral on the Internet, and has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song.”

While we don’t think they needed to add the word “criticism” to that complaint…we still get where they are coming from. However the way they went about all of it is beyond messy. And after speaking to parents of daughters both young and old, showing the video to girls both the target age for Goldie Blox and young ladies a little bit older than their target demo and to Hip Hop heads who have a specific affinity for the Beastie Boys themselves, we’ve come to a few conclusions. But none more prevalent than this one…there are no good answers here! No matter what happens someone gets screwed!

It is so wack how this went down to be honest because Goldie Blox took an AMAZING MESSAGE for the empowerment of young girls everywhere and buried it in garbage when they disrespected the legacy and work of the Beastie Boys. There is just no other way to say that. They didn’t even ask permission…which is just not right. With great emphasis on the part about MCA’s last wishes. We can not stress that part enough.

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However, now that it’s out there it could help little girls around the world to find a voice that has been missing since about…oh say forever! It would be such a shame to take that away from them now. But what do we do if that voice was ascertained by ragady means? Hmmm what could be done to make this sort of work out for everyone involved?

We’re just throwing this suggestion out there…but maybe…the Beastie Boys could be cut in to the products revenue stream somehow and made whole through giving back to them what they feel the use of the song in the video is worth. This could be in lieu of a lawsuit against Goldie Blox which is a company that hasn’t had time to make any money yet and that would surely go under if the Beasties sue them.  This in conjunction with giving a percentage of sales to some sort of childhood cancer research foundation or maybe even starting one in honor of MCA could be a classy way to show appreciation for his legacy and continue to insure it is RESPECTED and not violated.

This would go a long way to alleviate the shade that is being thrown at Goldie Blox right now for the shade that many perceive that Goldie Blox have thrown at the Beastie Boys.

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Let’s be clear the Beasties are a legendary, iconic, forever important and significant Hip Hop group who are beloved worldwide. Their fans are not going to take to this kindly if they feel the group got screwed. Thus cutting out a huge portion of potential sales for Goldie Blox anyway. So it would be best for them to do right by the group and try to catch more flies with sugar instead of vinegar. They didn’t ask for permission to do what they did…no matter how dope the message is for little girls…it gets lost in the messiness of the way the business was ultimately conducted. We want them to teach our girls to play smarter…but we need them to remember how to play fair. That’s all.

We wish all parties the best in this situation.

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