Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

GoldieBlox Goes “Girls”-Less. Did It Back Down From the Beastie Boys? (Update: Yes)

Girls_Beastie_BoysGoldieBlox is a girls’-toy startup that got a lot of attention for its YouTube ad that parodied the Beastie Boys’ “Girls.”

Then it got even more attention when it preemptively sued the band for the right to use the song.

Then it got even more attention as a good chunk of of the Internet weighed in on who was right. (Summary: Hard to say. Depends.)

Now the ad has vanished, at least from YouTube, where it is marked “private.”

Here’s what the company has put up in its place: Same video, different soundtrack:

There’s no explanation about the change from the company on YouTube or on its own site. It’s possible that the Beastie Boys’ reps got YouTube to take down the clip via a takedown notice. But if that was the case, you would normally see a message on YouTube saying as much. In any case, I’ve asked.

(Update: GoldieBlox CEO Debbie Sterling, in a blog post, says she pulled the clip after reading the Beastie Boys’ open letter to her company: “Since actions speak louder than words, we have already removed the song from our video. In addition, we are ready to stop the lawsuit as long as this means we will no longer be under threat from your legal team.”)

For now, at least, you can still see the original on Vimeo. Maybe GoldieBlox just hasn’t gotten around to updating that one:

GoldieBlox from Pico Sound on Vimeo.

And, for what it’s worth, here’s the 1994 song where the Beasties sort-of apologize for “Girls”:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work