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Are the Beastie Boys picking on science-loving girls? The copyright case is not so simple (Updated)

on November 25, 2013

Gigaom

In an act of blatant hypocrisy, a legendary rap group is misusing copyright law to go after a clever viral video that celebrates girls who build machines instead of playing with teacups. Well, that’s the surface story at least — the facts are a little more complicated.

In case you missed it, the Hollywood Reporter reported on Friday that the Beastie Boys are threatening to take legal action over a video set to their 1986 song “Girls.” The video, which shows little girls who build a Rube Goldberg-type machine, replaces sexist lyrics like “Girls — to do the dishes/ Girls — to clean up my room/” with empowering words like “Girls — to build the spaceship/ Girls — to code the new app.”

The maker of the video, GoldieBlox, says the video is a parody and is protected under fair use, but that lawyers for the Beastie Boys and the…

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