GoldieBlox v. Beastie Boys: Something Here Doesn't Rhyme


[Born an artist, Sarah Feingold decided that the best way to protect creative folk like herself was to go to law school. She currently serves as counsel at Etsy and specializes in intellectual property, business and ecommerce law. When she’s not practicing law, she's speaking or writing about legal issues (Sarah penned the ebook “Copyright for Artists”) or she's hammering silver in her tiny Brooklyn apartment kitchen.]

Sometimes a legal dispute inspires the creative within. This is exactly what happened when I read about GoldieBlox Inc. suing Beastie Boys and producer Rick Rubin. As you may have seen in the press, GoldieBlox seeks declaratory judgement that their viral ad's use of the Beastie Boys song "Girls" is protected by the Fair Use Doctrine and does not infringe on a copyright.

Here's my take on both side's possible arguments ... inspired by both songs and in rhyme, of course:

Girls, the Beastie Boys sing about girls
Famous eighties song called "Girls"
Dishes, cleaning, it’s girls

Goldie Blox
Viral ad with girls that rocks
The Beastie Boys well known beat: Girls
Engineering, science, girls

Beastie’s lawyers say
"Beastie never said you may
Commercial use is not OK
If Goldie said, 'Please' we'd say 'no way!'

Goldie says "Hey!
Fair use and parody’s OK
Goldie’s market’s different all the way
Women are needed in technology!"

Goldie sues Beastie to their dismay

Girls, to become lawyers?
Girls, to write subpoenas?
Girls, to draft the licenses?
Girls, and talk with the press

Girls, copyright infringement, it’s girls?
Or is the use parody, girls?
Lawyers argue over girls?
Who should win in the case of Girls?


[JD Supra's In-House Perspective series provides in-house counsel a platform upon which to share their views and thought leadership on issues of the day, including industry news and legal developments, relationships with outside counsel, and law practice matters. We anticipate further legal updates in haiku, sonnet, and villanelle forms.]


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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