They've found a great way to make a lot of money. They look at all the other new options, but none of them bring in as much money. It seems illogical to change to something that doesn't make as much profit.
...Until one day the new services do bring in more money, and by that time it's too late for them to change. Someone else owns the business. That's the future they can never see.
If Hollywood is wondering why people don't go to movies anymore, maybe it's because they're paying too much to have movies at home. When I hear about people paying $2,000 a year or more for commercial laden TV, I just have to call them crazy.
The interesting thing about Netflix is they bundle ALL the content and you pay for the whole package, but it only costs $8/month ($96/year). And I can watch it on my own schedule without commercials.
I'd love to say I'm a cord cutter, but I've never had a cord to cut. Between Netflix and my local library, I've got more things to watch than hours in the day to watch them.
So I save my money and spend that extra $1,900 on theatre, games, travel, music, books, and maybe a few blurays.
1. They would need a sync license if it was a cover of the Beastie Boys song, just as they would need a compulsory license to make the cover. But this doesn't apply to parody, because a parody is not a cover. The compulsory license for a cover prevents them from changing the lyrics. The parody lyrics place this in the realm of fair use, and syncing a video of a fair use song is legal.
2. Changing the lyrics is highly transformative - enough to constitute parody. They also re-recorded their own music (very different from 2 Live Crew which sampled the actual recording). As another poster commented, the disdain for song lyrics here is appalling. The lyrics are the whole point in making this a contender for fair use, just as they are in Weird Al songs (which often replicate the original musically, and change only the lyrics.) He even syncs it to video and tries to make it look like the original. He's been doing this for 30 years without harming the market value of anything he parodies. Quite the opposite effect, actually.
3. First I've heard about needing a sync license for TV. Is that a legal ruling or simply corporate policy? It may not necessarily have anything to do with the fair use case.
Of course, only a judge can make the final call, and I have a feeling that this will never get that far, so ultimately nobody is right or wrong.
First, GoldieBlox PARODIED the Beastie Boys music. They didn't use the Beastie Boys song.
Second, filing for a declaratory judgement that the song is fair use is a shortcut to avoid a lengthy, costly court battle. It's a common thing, because the only way to be certain of fair use is for a judge to declare something is fair use.
Fair use allows you to parody copyrighted works without asking permission. If a judge declares it fair use, there is no copyright infringement and GoldieBlox did nothing wrong legally.
Unfortunately you'll probably never get to hear the song legally, and the fair use issue will never get decided. It will probably get settled with an agreement to not release the song or video ever again.
It's my understanding that when Beastie Boys wrote License to Ill and Paul's Boutique there was no such thing as paying licenses for samples. They just sampled freely without getting licenses and without asking permission.
It's only later that the RIAA came in and (despite fair use) demanded permission and payment for even a second of sampled music, and it's often been noted that Paul's Boutique would cost millions of dollars in licensing fees if it were created today.
So yes, the Beasties are being hypocritical here.
They came from an era when having your music in a TV commercial was the ultimate selling out. That's just not how the world is anymore and it's a dinosaur attitude (I think that attituded died along with Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life"). Apparently it's the attitude of plenty of TechDirt readers too.
Perhaps, but the words in the GoldieBlox song are a parody of the words in the original Beastie Boys song. They didn't just change the words, but they are commenting on the content of the original song, which is the real core issue in this fair use case.