Sometimes you gotta fight for your right to demand money from people infringing on your copyright. At least, that’s what The Beastie Boys did.
Last year, the ‘Lego for girls, because girls are too stupid for Lego’ company GoldieBlox used the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls” in a viral YouTube video and brazenly tried to claim it was fair use.
After being contacted by The Beastie Lawyers, GoldieBlox tried to get a judge to confirm it was fair use by filing a preëmptive action in federal court. Needless to say, that failed miserably. GoldieBlox took down the video after 10 days, but The Beastie Boys still sued them for what was a clear case of flagrant copyright infringement.
The parties eventually settled out of court, but the exact terms of the settlement were kept under wraps. Until now, that is. Thanks to an unrelated lawsuit between the Beastie Boys and Monster Energy (which is actually hilarious, you should look into it…), the settlement details have been unveiled.
GoldieBlox has to donate 1% of their gross revenue to a charity chosen by The Beastie Boys that supports “science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics education for girls” until the total amount donated reaches $1 million. In return, the company gets a backdated license to use the track. The company also agreed to publish the apology, and even though they now have a license, the company has said they will not re-publish their advert again. Ouch.
Given that GoldieBlox was founded with $285k from Kickstarter in 2012, it will probably take them a while to pay off that settlement. But the free advertising this copyright infringement case has brought them must certainly be worth over $1 million. So, just as I wrote before: “even if they lose, ultimately they win.”
Even though GoldieBlox took down the video, this being the internet and all, it’s still available. Watch GoldieBlox’s Rube Goldberg Machine Advert below: