GoldieBlox And Intuit Appear to Have Violated Rules in SuperBowl Ad Contest. Did They Also Break State and Federal Law?

As reported by  GoldieBlox was not disqualified despite their “permissionless” commercial use of The Beastie Boys song “Girls”.   This appears to be against the rules of the contest.  If true, they should have been disqualified in round 3 according to the rules as they were violating the content restrictions at that point.

Content Restrictions:

  • The Submission must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement;
  • Entrant must have permission from all individuals mentioned or displayed in the Submission (if any) to use their name and likeness in the Submission and to grant the rights set forth herein and if requested, entrant must be able to provide such permissions in a form acceptable to Sponsor;

Read’s excellent coverage here.

So big deal. Two Silicon Valley firms, Intuit and GoldieBlox, breaking the rules? Yawn. As we’ve seen with the “Google Bus” corruption scandal  this has become an everyday occurrence in the valley of permissionless innovation.

Well here’s the kicker. Public contests, lotteries and sweepstakes are strictly regulated by state and federal laws.  Some of which have criminal penalties.   If I had a small business in this contest I would look at those state and federal laws very carefully!  Who knows DairyPoop may already be a winner!

We all know that Goldieblox appears willing to do anything to garner publicity including what some commentators have suggested was  marketing by lawsuit. Why a generally sensible company like Intuit would put themselves in a position where they may be liable is a mystery to me.

4 thoughts on “GoldieBlox And Intuit Appear to Have Violated Rules in SuperBowl Ad Contest. Did They Also Break State and Federal Law?

  1. So, just so I’m clear about the when and what, is the allegation that Goldieblox submitted the “Girls” Beastie Boys parody ad as part of their submission package to the contest? If so, that does seem to violate the submission rules, huh? I had thought that they had just submitted the spot that going to run at the Super Bowl. Ah, gotta love that permissionless, disruptive innovation thing. Sounds so “rebellious” and “cutting edge” when it’s mostly, really about stealing till ya get caught…

  2. Regardless, the commercial that got famous was the one with the Beasties name and song. Unless you believe that the people who voted were not aware of the Beasties rip off, which I don’t, or ignored it when they “voted” which I really don’t believe, then the process was tainted, is tainted, and will remain tainted as far as I’m concerned. Intuit should have disqualified Goldieblox and I think the rules would have allowed intuit to do so. It’s the usual free riding.

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