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GoldieBlox, Beastie Boys settle copyright suit

Debbie Sterling, Lincoln, RI native and founder of GoldieBlox, Inc., demonstrates her new toy for girls called Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine at their new office in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Sterling founded the company last year with a mission to teach young girls basic engineering principles through toys.

AP Photo/Laura A. Oda/Staff

Debbie Sterling, Lincoln, RI native and founder of GoldieBlox, Inc., demonstrates her new toy for girls called Goldie Blox and the Spinning Machine at their new office in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Sterling founded the company last year with a mission to teach young girls basic engineering principles through toys.

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The Beastie Boys have settled their copyright lawsuit against GoldieBlox, a company that builds engineering toys for girls, after the company used a parody of the band’s 1987 hit, “Girls,” in a commercial without permission. GoldieBlox, which was created by engineer and Lincoln, R.I., native Debbie Sterling, was ordered to apologize for using the song, and will have to make a donation to “one or more charities selected by Beastie Boys that support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education for girls.” The company’s “Girls” video got 8 million YouTube views its first week. GoldieBlox then sued the Beastie Boys to ensure it could keep using the song. That’s when the Beasties responded with their own lawsuit and a letter about their policy of not lending their music to any advertisement. “As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and /or name to be used in product ads,” the band stated in a letter to the company. Sterling, a Stanford graduate, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the toy line, which launched in 2012. The start-up got a big boost during the Super Bowl, winning a 30-second ad spot worth a reported $4 million.

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