Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Think Out Loud #72: GoldieBlox

Hello all!
Welcome to Think Out Loud!
A weekly meme I host on Thursdays,
but you can post whenever you want!
Whatever you want!

The following is from some article I found on the web,
unfortunately, I didn't paste the site in and now I can't find it again.
Derp! What a dork, right?
Anyways, this first write-up sort of explains what the purpose
of the company is and what the commercial was meant to do.
The write-up that comes after the video is from SPIN.
It discusses some legal activity happening with GoldiBlox.
I originally just thought the video was cute.
Shame there is always something negative to go with the positive!

"This is a stupendously awesome commercial from a toy company called GoldieBlox, which has developed a set of interactive books and games to “disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.” The CEO, Debbie Sterling, studied engineering at Stanford, where she was dismayed by the lack of women in her program. As the GoldieBlox website attests, only 11 percent of the world’s engineers are female. Sterling wants to light girls’ inventive spark early, supplementing the usual diet of glittery princess products with construction toys “from a female perspective.”

We love this video because it subverts a bunch of dumb gender stereotypes—all to the strains of a repurposed Beastie Boys song. In it, a trio of smart girls could not be less impressed by the flouncing beauty queens in the commercial they’re watching. So they use a motley collection of toys and household items (including a magenta feather boa and a pink plastic tea set) to assemble a huge Rube Goldberg machine."

November 22 2013, 6:26 PM ET
The Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin are being preemptively sued by the GoldieBlox toy company, which claims that its commercial featuring a parody of the Licensed to Ill track "Girls" does not count as copyright infringement. According to the Hollywood Reporter, GoldieBlox filed a lawsuit on Thursday, November 21, claiming that the Beastie Boys recently threatened the toymakers with copyright infringement. Per the complaint: "Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use, and that GoldieBlox's unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a 'big problem' that has a 'very significant impact.'"
Now, GoldieBlox — which identifies itself as "a toy company on a mission to inspire the next generation of female engineers" — is headed to a California federal court in the hopes of getting an official ruling that the advertisement does fall within fair use. The suit names the Beastie Boys, producer Rick Rubin, Island Def Jam Music Group, Sony Music Publishing Group, and Universal Music Publishing as defendants.
"GoldieBlox created its parody video with specific goals to make fun of the Beastie Boys song," the complaint reads, "and to further the company's goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage in activities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video has gone viral on the Internet, and has been recognized by the press and the public as a parody and criticism of the original song."
As THR points out, to determine whether the commercial can be considered fair use, a judge will have to look at four separate factors, including "the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and the effect of the use upon the potential market."
GoldieBlox's ad does redeem the dumb-guy rhymes of "Girls," remaking the "to do the dishes... to do the laundry" sexism into a toy-centric criticism of gender stereotypes: "You think you know what we want ... pink and pretty ... just like the '50s." That witty bit of social awareness could work in GoldieBlox's favor, but the fact remains that the video is a commercial meant to sell a product and earn a profit for a company, making it a business venture.
Read the entire lawsuit here.
So, what are you Thinking this week?
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