Odds & Ends: Prince, Beastie Boys, Trisha Yearwood

Beastie Boys file a counterclaim against toy company GoldieBlox … Trisha Yearwood backs out of her SeaWorld appearance … Prince is set to make his sitcom network television debut.

Animal activists have another victory to celebrate now that Trisha Yearwood has canceled her Feb. 22 show at SeaWorld in Orlando because of controversy over the documentary “Blackfish.” A fan launched a Change.org petition that collected more than 5,700 signatures in hopes of getting the country singer to call off the gig.

“Blackfish” uses the story of Tilikum – an orca that was captured near Iceland in 1983 and has killed three people – to portray the reported mistreatment of killer whales in captivity as well as the subsequent consequences.

The film, which aired on CNN in October and is available on DVD now, is on the Oscar shortlist for best documentary.

Photo: AP Photo
Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Renaissance Hotel, Nashville, Tenn.

A representative for Trisha Yearwood told Change.org, “In light of recent concerns, Trisha has decided to remove the Feb. 22 date from her upcoming tour plans.”

Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, Heart and Cheap Trick have already canceled appearances at SeaWorld appearances. There are ongoing Change.org petitions to pressure the remaining acts scheduled to play SeaWorld to nix their shows. The remaining 2014 lineup includes REO Speedwagon, Scotty McCreery and Martina McBride.

Although GoldieBlox took down its video advertisement featuring a parody version of the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls” in November, that wasn’t enough to satisfy the band. The Beastie Boys has responded to the toy company’s preemptive lawsuit claiming that the band was threatening GoldieBlox with copyright infringement with a counterclaim for – you guessed it – copyright infringement.

The court papers filed Tuesday also list infringement of registered trademark; unfair completion, false designation of origin and false advertising; and misappropriation of right of publicity.

GoldieBlox, which aims to break down gender stereotypes and inspire future female engineers, changed the lyrics to Beastie Boys’ 1987 song to proclaim, “Girls – to build the spaceship, girls – to code the new app, girls – to grow up knowing that they can engineer that.” The original song wants girls to do the dishes and laundry.

Photo: AP Photo
Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys accept induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The surviving members of the Beastie Boys issued an open letter last month saying, “As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.”

The band’s counterclaim reiterates this by saying that rather than fair use, the parody is a copyright infringement that turned Beasties’ 1987 song “into a ‘jingle’ to sell GoldieBlox’s products,” according to the New York Times.

The Beastie Boys are seeking “to recover from GoldieBlox the gains, profits and advantages GoldieBlox has obtained as a result of the wrongful conduct alleged.”

The New York Times notes that GoldieBlox has issued a statement once again defending the parody song as fair use.

Prince has been full of surprises lately from joining Twitter to inviting fans to a pajama dance party at his Paisley Park Studios.

The singer formerly known as a symbol is now reportedly going to make his sitcom network television debut with an appearance on the Fox show “New Girl.”

Photo: AP Images for NPG Records 2012
Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia

DrFunkenBerry.com reports that Prince will play himself in an episode “centered around his notorious star-studded house parties.” The episode is set to air Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2.

As proof of the collaboration between “New Girl” and Prince DrFunkenBerry.com points to Twitter, where the singer’s backing band 3rd Eye Girl retweeted a tweet from “New Girl” actress Hannah Simone that said, “Big Deal Alert! Exciting new coming tomorrow …”