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GoldieBlox agreed to pay $1 million to charity in Beastie Boys settlement

By | Published on Tuesday 13 May 2014


Toy maker GoldieBlox’s settlement with Beastie Boys, over the adaptation of one of the band’s songs for an advert, was a $1 million charitable donation, legal documents have revealed.

As previously reported, the surviving Beastie Boys objected when GoldieBlox used a reworked version of their 1987 song ‘Girls’ in a video promoting the firm’s toys, noting that while they respected the toymaker’s mission to make toys for young girls that break down gender stereotypes, they had long held a resolve to never licence their music for ad sync.

The company initially argued that its use of the song was protected by parody exemptions in US copyright law, subsequently suing to make this point. The group then countersued, with a wide-ranging list of claims that would have firmly tested the American copyright system’s parody exemption had the case got to court.

In the end though, it never came to that, as both sides reached an agreement in March. Although this was undisclosed at the time, the details appear in online court documents (via The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner), which show that GoldieBlox agreed to donate 1% of its gross revenue to a charity of the band’s choice every year until the amount paid reaches $1 million. In return, Beastie Boys agreed that the charity chosen would focus on supporting “science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics education for girls”.