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Toymaker Clashes with Beastie Boys Over Fair Use

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The following is a guest blog post by Harmony Groves Kessler, a solo practitioner assisting individuals, small businesses, and attorneys with legal issues in criminal defense, business contracts/transactions and public agency law in northern California. She is the former Mayor of Arcata, California, where she served a four-year term on the City Council.

Updated March 18, 2014: The Beastie Boys and GoldieBlox have settled the suit. As part of the settlement, GoldieBlox will no longer be able to use its parody of the Beastie Boys’ song and will publish an apology to the band.

Updated January 3, 2014: Although GoldieBlox removed the song “Girls” from its video, the Beastie Boys sued GoldieBlox for copyright and trademark infringement, among other claims, seeking an injunction, damages, and lost profits based on the toy’s massive increase in sales, which they believe are the direct result of the video.

A creative rewrite of the Beastie Boys’ iconic song “Girls” recently stirred up trouble for a toymaker with good intentions. Continue reading

Preventive Justice

76800459Hit song of the summer, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, is drumming up controversy as it’s claimed to infringe on a couple of Marvin Gaye songs. Not waiting to be sued, Thicke’s attorneys proactively filed a declaratory relief action. This is a great strategy to keep in mind: in some situations it’s best to seek preventive justice. Continue reading

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