Rap is famous for its beefs, and GoldieBlox vs. the Beastie Boys is proving to be an interesting one. The latest: GoldieBlox CEO Debbie Sterling has penned an open letter to the rap group, saying “we are actually huge fans.” The company has removed the group’s song, “Girls,” from the video ad that prompted the battle.
In case you’ve missed all the hubbub: Toy maker GoldieBlox this week sued the Beastie Boys, saying the band questioned the company’s use of its song for a video ad. The Bay Area company took the offensive, saying the video was parody and covered under fair use. It is now retreating, saying it’s ready to drop the lawsuit “as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.”
“Our hearts sank last week when your lawyers called us with threats that we took very seriously. As a small company, we had no choice but to stand up for ourselves. We did so sincerely hoping we could come to a peaceful settlement with you,” Sterling writes in the letter, which the company has posted on its blog.
As we wrote earlier this week, the Beastie Boys denied that it threatened GoldieBlox, saying they “simply asked” why their song had been used by the company.
GoldieBlox makes toys that encourage girls to become interested in engineering, and it has gotten plenty of kudos in the year it’s been in existence, including after its video — a girl-power anthem set to the tune of the Beastie Boys song — went viral. But it seemed to lose some of that love when news of the lawsuit came out. As Michelle Quinn wrote for SiliconBeat yesterday, some called the company “entitled.”
Did the company react too quickly? Or is it reacting to the criticism that’s being hurled at it? GoldieBlox says it just wants to go back to business as usual: “We don’t want to spend our time fighting legal battles. We want to inspire the next generation. We want to be good role models. And we want to be your friends,” writes Sterling at the end of her letter.
Photo: This August 2012 photo released by GoldieBlox shows “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine” toys. (Associated Press)