In a stroke of good fortune for Abrams ComicArts, which released The Art of Rube Goldberg earlier this month (see "The Art of Rube Goldberg"), a video featuring a two minute live action Rube Goldberg machine has gone viral, with over 8.5 million views in the first eight days.  The video, titled GoldiBlox, Rube Goldberg, & Beastie Boys "Princess Machine," uses a Rube Goldberg-style device to show that little girls "need more choices than the pink aisle has to offer."  GoldieBlox sells interactive books and construction sets for girls, so it’s ultimately a commercial, but a cleverly reworded Beastie Boys song coupled with the visuals makes it an enjoyable experience regardless.

The video has now become the subject of an interesting copyright case.  The Beastie Boys have famously refused to license their music for commercials, and reached out to GoldieBlox when it saw the video.  GoldieBlox has now sued the Beastie Boys, asking a judge to preemptively rule that the song is a fair use parody. 

The Beastie Boys issued a statement, which said in part, "We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering... When we tried to simply ask how and why our song "Girls" had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US."

This dust-up, of course, is attracting even more attention to the video. 

All of that attention is a huge positive for ComicArts’ Rube Goldberg book, an impressive monograph currently available to booksellers and comic stores.