Founder Debbie Sterling explains that when her company posted the ad, they didn't know that Adam Yauch had requested not to let anyone use Beastie Boys' songs in advertising.
GoldieBlox has removed its version of Beastie Boys' song called "Girls" from an online video that became a viral hit. The California-based toy company has also revealed their plan to drop a lawsuit they filed for the right to the song featured in the hip-hop group's 1986 debut album "License to Ill".
GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling posted an open letter to the surviving members of Beastie Boys on Wednesday, November 27. In addition to apologizing and offering "a peaceful settlement," Sterling explained her decision to use the group's song in the ad.
"We don't want to fight with you. We love you and we are actually huge fans," Sterling wrote, "When we made our parody version of your song, 'Girls', we did it with the best of intentions. We wanted to transform it into a powerful anthem for girls."
Sterling revealed that she was sad when she found out Beastie Boys' team planned to sue her company, saying, "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."
"We want you to know that when we posted the video, we were completely unaware that the late, great Adam Yauch had requested in his will that the Beastie Boys songs never be used in advertising. Although we believe our parody video falls under fair use, we would like to respect his wishes and yours," she continued, referring to the late member Yauch, who died back in 2012 after a three-year battle with throat cancer.
"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," she added. "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."
GoldieBlox, which makes engineering toys for girls, released an ad that featured three inventive young girls and a modified tune of Beastie Boys' "Girls". The ad went viral and garnered more than 8 million views on YouTube.
GoldieBlox filed its suit on November 21, claiming that it was a response to legal threats from Beastie Boys' attorneys. The surviving members of the group then insisted that they had "made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads."