In what his hopefully the final chapter of the Beastie Boys' battle with GoldieBlox, the toy company issued an apology for using the group's song "Girls" in an ad without their permission. "We sincerely apologize for any negative impact our actions have had on the Beastie Boys," reads a message on the company's website. "We never intended to cast the band in a negative light and we regret putting them in a position to defend themselves when they had done nothing wrong."
GoldieBlox originally reworked "Girls" into a non-sexist song for a commercial that appealed to young girls. The company filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Beastie Boys, producer Rick Rubin, Island Def Jam, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Universal Music Publishing, claiming "fair use" of the track. The Beastie Boys then sued GoldieBlox for copyright infringement, saying the toy makers "acted intentionally and despicably with oppression, fraud, and malice toward the Beastie Boys Parties." The suit was settled earlier this week, with GoldieBlox agreeing to make a payment "based on a percentage of its revenues, to one or more charities selected by Beastie Boys that support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education for girls," as Rolling Stone reports.
"As engineers and builders of intellectual property, we understand an artist's desire to have his or her work treated with respect. We should have reached out to the band before using their music in the video," GoldieBlox's apology continues. "We know this is only one of the many mistakes we're bound to make as we grow our business. The great thing about mistakes is how much you can learn from them. As trying as this experience was, we have learned a valuable lesson. From now on, we will secure the proper rights and permissions in advance of any promotions, and we advise any other young company to do the same."
This all comes after both parties penned open letters about the ad, which at first seemed like a fun, empowering idea. On top of not stealing the song, GoldieBlox would've been wise to remember what the late Adam "MCA" Yauch stipulated in his will: "In no event may my image or name or any music or any artistic property created by me be used for advertising purposes." Call us crazy, but crapping on the legacy of a revered rapper who died at age 47 from cancer doesn't seem like a smart business idea.