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Beastie Boys Sue; Law Prof's 'Head Spins'

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Published on Dec 16, 2013

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg Law) -- The Beastie Boys are no strangers to taking other people's music and creating something new. They're also no strangers to being sued for it. It was unusual, however, when someone took their music and then sued them for it.

GoldieBlox, a company that makes toys designed to encourage girls to learn about science, created a video to promote their product. The video, which went viral, was set to a parody of the Beastie Boys song, "Girls." It had the same tune, but new lyrics, and a new recording of the music.

After lawyers for the Beasties contacted GoldieBlox, the toy company filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration of fair use. Although they subsequently removed the song from the video, and offered to drop the lawsuit the Beastie Boys filed a countersuit. Law professor Christopher Sprigman explains.

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