Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys and GoldiBlox Settle; GoldiBlox "Apologizes"

I've followed the copyright infringement battle between seminal rap group the Beastie Boys and upstart toy manufacturer GoldiBlox with great interest. (And not just because my close friend Brett Doar is the evil genius behind "The Princess Machine" in GoldiBlox's video, but also Rube Goldberg contraptions in the video for OK GO's song "It Too Shall Pass" and a host of others.)

As with all infringement cases, despite the fact that intellectual property is governed by law, the details can make a muddle of the situation. I won't rehash what I've written about this already (which you can check out here and here) but I wanted to point out this great piece by AdAge media columnist Simon Dumenco.

In it, Dumenco points out that as part of the settlement reached earlier, GoldiBlox was to apologize to the Beastie Boys. Yet befitting their combative stance throughout this standoff, they found a way to make that apology less than adequate.

GoldieBlox vs. The Beastie Boys: Round 2

With GoldieBlox' open letter and their decision to change the music in their now infamous video, we all thought that the dispute with the Beastie Boys was over.

Not so fast. It turns out that in the past week the Beastie Boys filed a response to GoldieBlox's premptive complaint.

In their response, the Beastie Boys allege copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair completion and violation of their publicity rights, all because GoldieBlox not only used their composition, but also included their name in the video, as if it was endorsed by the group itself.

The Future of Music Coalition has a great run-down and analysis of the current situation.

I'll be watching this case as it develops. It could turn out to be an important ruling on copyright and fair use.