Glee Rips Off Jonathan Coulton

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Sirtety:

Zachary Amaranth:

Incidentally, you cannot copyright an arrangement, so there's no real legal problem here. No issue with "not getting his permission."

I think it's a matter of poor taste rather than a legal one. The fact that the show used the arrangement without even speaking to Coulton comes off as kind of a jerk move. Even Weird Al asks the artist permission before he parodies their music, even though under US law he doesn't have to. It's just common courtesy I would think.

Parody falls under a different category in copyright law. It falls under Fair Use, and you can parody someone's work without explicit permission. You can't steal someones performance and claim it as your own though... That's illegal.

Rawne1980:
I find it hard to abuse Glee when it takes a song done by someone else who took the song from someone else.

It's not as if Coulton wrote the song or even put much effort into it ... it's a cover.

Had it been an original song it would have been different.

But I suppose the people here are right. Let's abuse a TV show for being unoriginal and stealing an unoriginal song off guy who covered the song of someone else because covering a song is original right? ..... RIGHT?

Nope, it's not.

But, according to a poll that popped up on this very forum last year, a hell of a lot of people here class themselves as having above average intelligence....

It truly shows, honest.

Just because it's not the original, doesn't mean it's not original. If I am doing a cover of Boyz in the Hood, there is a very necessary distinction to be made: Am I covering the original, or am I covering the cover?

Jonathan Coulton didn't put any effort into it? What? He didn't write the lyrics to Baby Got Back, but his doesn't sound anything like the original. He himself had to make the arrangement and melody until that became this.
They literally lifted his entire song without even asking for permission.

Sight Unseen:

All I can say to you is this: actually LISTEN to both songs and then come back and say that again... JoCo's version is a completely different arrangement, pace, and sound and was meant as a parody. I dont personally LIKE his arrangement of the song, but only someone who hasn't even heard both songs can come here and say "Joco just did a lazy cover and now he's pissed someone stole it from him?!"

Okay, i'll elaborate.

Done completely different to the original but it's still a cover.

Changing how something sounds does not change the fact it's still someone else's song and has 0 originality.

And my original post wasn't ranting about him being pissed someone stole his song, it was ranting about people here complaining about a TV show covering said song which is itself a cover.

I've seen some truly pathetic arguments over the years but some of the comments on this thread are Youtube worthy.

"Rawr, a TV show I don't have to watch ... KILL IT WITH FIRE".

There is just something hilariously daft about watching people rage over a "stolen" cover of a song which is a cover of a song.

Rawne1980:

Okay, i'll elaborate.

Done completely different to the original but it's still a cover.

Changing how something sounds does not change the fact it's still someone else's song and has 0 originality.

And my original post wasn't ranting about him being pissed someone stole his song, it was ranting about people here complaining about a TV show covering said song which is itself a cover.

I've seen some truly pathetic arguments over the years but some of the comments on this thread are Youtube worthy.

"Rawr, a TV show I don't have to watch ... KILL IT WITH FIRE".

There is just something hilariously daft about watching people rage over a "stolen" cover of a song which is a cover of a song.

I think you're underestimating the amount of work that goes into completely rewriting and recording a song the way JoCo did it.

Nevertheless, it doesn't matter how unoriginal you think it is - Glee still took JoCo's work without asking. It's not unreasonable to suggest that they should have gotten permission before doing it. I don't care about Glee, I don't watch it, but I do care about giving musicians credit for their work.

Kartoffelmos:

I think you're underestimating the amount of work that goes into completely rewriting and recording a song the way JoCo did it.

Nevertheless, it doesn't matter how unoriginal you think it is - Glee still took JoCo's work without asking. It's not unreasonable to suggest that they should have gotten permission before doing it. I don't care about Glee, I don't watch it, but I do care about giving musicians credit for their work.

Of course they should have got permission. I'm not defending the show.

I'm merely pointing out that a cover is not a musical masterpiece no matter what bells and whistles have been slapped on it.

My other point was aimed at some of the people attacking the show like it walked into their house, pissed on their shoes and called their sister a slut.

But no matter how many people tell me otherwise, my ears are not going to mistake Coulton's Baby Got Back for a decent cover. I just don't like covers.

Rawne1980:
I find it hard to abuse Glee when it takes a song done by someone else who took the song from someone else.

It's not as if Coulton wrote the song or even put much effort into it ... it's a cover.

Had it been an original song it would have been different.

But I suppose the people here are right. Let's abuse a TV show for being unoriginal and stealing an unoriginal song off guy who covered the song of someone else because covering a song is original right? ..... RIGHT?

Nope, it's not.

But, according to a poll that popped up on this very forum last year, a hell of a lot of people here class themselves as having above average intelligence....

It truly shows, honest.

Actually I just want the show cancelled because I dislike Ryan Murphy and if something bad happened to him it'd make me happy for a little bit.

Mmm. This may or may not happen, but just the thought of Jonathan Coulton completely legitimately suing Glee and thereby Fox for being unoriginal hacks fills me with holiday cheer.

Rawne1980:
I find it hard to abuse Glee when it takes a song done by someone else who took the song from someone else.

It's not as if Coulton wrote the song or even put much effort into it ... it's a cover.

Had it been an original song it would have been different.

But I suppose the people here are right. Let's abuse a TV show for being unoriginal and stealing an unoriginal song off guy who covered the song of someone else because covering a song is original right? ..... RIGHT?

Nope, it's not.

But, according to a poll that popped up on this very forum last year, a hell of a lot of people here class themselves as having above average intelligence....

It truly shows, honest.

If you're going to be up yourself, you may want to question your own intellectual capacity first.

Coulton made his own arrangement for the song. As in he CREATED the tune and just used Mix-A-lot's lyrics.

Glee used both Coulton's arrangement and his recording.

Coulton did a cover/re-imaging with permission; Glee stole Coulton's recording without permission.

Is that so hard to understand, Mr. High and Mighty?

It's not just an arrangement; he added a tune to a song that originally didn't have one. It's no different from, say, putting a poem to music for the first time. Assuming he had the right to publish the song in the first place, his version is as protected by copyright as the original. Especially if it turns out Fox literally used the exact recording he made, which it sounds like they did (although how they managed to cleanly remove the vocals is a mystery to me).

That said, somehow I suspect Coulton didn't actually go through the proper legal channels to make his song in the first place. Nothing against Coulton personally, whom I know next to nothing about, but if he's anything like other Internet songwriting/recording hobbyists I've met, he probably assumed that Fair Use grants him the right to do whatever he wants with copyrighted material "because, uh, Internet and stuff."

DVS BSTrD:
But they didn't have time to ask his permission: If they win regionals then it's straight on to sectionals and then a week later is semis, then semi-regionals, then regional-semis, then national lower-zone semis.

... And then they'll lose, as always. The Glee club is like Ash Ketchum.

OT: You know, considering how Glee covers generally range from below mediocre to terrible, I'm surprised artists even let them use their songs. Buuuut, I guess any publicity is good publicity, and then there's the royalty cheques they will no doubt be getting.

But still, taking something without permission and using it for commercial gain just never flies. If this turns out to be true, I hope they get compensation.

Iron Criterion:

If you're going to be up yourself, you may want to question your own intellectual capacity first.

Coulton made his own arrangement for the song. As in he CREATED the tune and just used Mix-A-lot's lyrics.

Glee used both Coulton's arrangement and his recording.

Coulton did a cover/re-imaging with permission; Glee stole Coulton's recording without permission.

Is that so hard to understand, Mr. High and Mighty?

You may want to read more before you attempt to jump in and fall flat at being clever.

Already gone over the "but he did his own music" attempt at a come back.

If you polish a turd, guess what?

It's still a turd.

Bad analogy but point still stands. Mo matter how much you change something, it's still the same thing. Anybody can take someone else's song and change the music and pace, just check Youtube. Lost count of the amount of folk on there covering songs but changing bits in a vain attempt to "make it their own".

I'm not saying Coulton doesn't have any talent i'm saying that a cover does not showcase said talent.

Steve the Pocket:
It's not just an arrangement; he added a tune to a song that originally didn't have one. It's no different from, say, putting a poem to music for the first time. Assuming he had the right to publish the song in the first place, his version is as protected by copyright as the original. Especially if it turns out Fox literally used the exact recording he made, which it sounds like they did (although how they managed to cleanly remove the vocals is a mystery to me).

That said, somehow I suspect Coulton didn't actually go through the proper legal channels to make his song in the first place. Nothing against Coulton personally, whom I know next to nothing about, but if he's anything like other Internet songwriting/recording hobbyists I've met, he probably assumed that Fair Use grants him the right to do whatever he wants with copyrighted material "because, uh, Internet and stuff."

http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2013/01/18/baby-got-back-and-glee/

Jonathan:
If it is, I have some questions about how IP works in terms of this song. It's a cover of a Sir Mix-a-Lot song obviously, but I wrote a new melody for it, which this recording uses. Back when I released it, I bought the statutory license to distribute my version of this song through Harry Fox.

He did go through the proper legal channels.

Rawne1980:

Iron Criterion:

If you're going to be up yourself, you may want to question your own intellectual capacity first.

Coulton made his own arrangement for the song. As in he CREATED the tune and just used Mix-A-lot's lyrics.

Glee used both Coulton's arrangement and his recording.

Coulton did a cover/re-imaging with permission; Glee stole Coulton's recording without permission.

Is that so hard to understand, Mr. High and Mighty?

You may want to read more before you attempt to jump in and fall flat at being clever.

Already gone over the "but he did his own music" attempt at a come back.

If you polish a turd, guess what?

It's still a turd.

Bad analogy but point still stands. Mo matter how much you change something, it's still the same thing. Anybody can take someone else's song and change the music and pace, just check Youtube. Lost count of the amount of folk on there covering songs but changing bits in a vain attempt to "make it their own".

I'm not saying Coulton doesn't have any talent i'm saying that a cover does not showcase said talent.

It is different than a cover what he did.

He wrote an original song and then decided that it would be a funny reference if he added the lyrics from another song to note how funny it would be to make it sound like that.

It doesn't use the same tempo. It doesn't use the same instruments. It doesn't feature the same music key. The lyrics are sung in a completely different manner.

If you took the music sheet for the two songs, they would be totally and completely different.

It is like saying that West Side story is a cover of Romeo and Juliet. They have the same plot but yet are completely different

I'm still amazed this show is a thing. I must really be out of touch or something. Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, The Charlie Sheen Show Two and a Half Men, I just don't recognize TV shows anymore.

Never heard this version of Baby Got Back, but it was pretty nice.

Rawne1980:

You may want to read more before you attempt to jump in and fall flat at being clever.

Already gone over the "but he did his own music" attempt at a come back.

If you polish a turd, guess what?

It's still a turd.

Bad analogy but point still stands. Mo matter how much you change something, it's still the same thing. Anybody can take someone else's song and change the music and pace, just check Youtube. Lost count of the amount of folk on there covering songs but changing bits in a vain attempt to "make it their own".

I'm not saying Coulton doesn't have any talent i'm saying that a cover does not showcase said talent.

Did cover songs kill your family or something? You're being very harsh on them. And I think you're wrong, but I get the sense that you're not going to be easily persuaded on this.

Kartoffelmos:

Did cover songs kill your family or something? You're being very harsh on them. And I think you're wrong, but I get the sense that you're not going to be easily persuaded on this.

And molested my Gerbil, it was a truly traumatic time in my childhood.

No, I just don't like covers.

I tend to view them the same way I view movie remakes....

It didn't need to be remade, we've gained nothing from the remake and the chances are the original was far better.

Baby Got Back was fun because of how it was. Coulton's cover is god awful. It took everything fun about the original and threw it in the bin leaving us with something bland. It's like having Fish and Chips and taking away the Fish .... and the Chips .... all your left with is a boring, empty plate.

They can call it a parody or whatever else have you it doesn't change the fact he took a fun song and made it dull.

Rawne1980:
I find it hard to abuse Glee when it takes a song done by someone else who took the song from someone else.

It's not as if Coulton wrote the song or even put much effort into it ... it's a cover.

Had it been an original song it would have been different.

But I suppose the people here are right. Let's abuse a TV show for being unoriginal and stealing an unoriginal song off guy who covered the song of someone else because covering a song is original right? ..... RIGHT?

Nope, it's not.

But, according to a poll that popped up on this very forum last year, a hell of a lot of people here class themselves as having above average intelligence....

It truly shows, honest.

See, there's a tiny difference you apparently didn't notice:
Coulton took the lyrics, changed the style, added a tune, changed the speed, basically reworked the thing. That's called a cover, and while it isn't as original as making something up from scratch, it does, at least, require a bit of creativity.

Glee then takes the song and does it exactly the fucking same way down to the speed, chordal progressions and everything, with very, VERY minor additions at best. That's what we in the business call "Ripping someone the fuck off." That doesn't require creativity, all that requires is, well, either being a dick and just doing it without permission, or asking and being nice. That's about the only creative process there - working out if you can theoretically get away with being a stealing ass.

Oh, wait, I'm sorry, you already addressed this, didn't you?

Rawne1980:

Okay, i'll elaborate.

Done completely different to the original but it's still a cover.

Changing how something sounds does not change the fact it's still someone else's song and has 0 originality.

All I'm going to say is: If you're going to sit here and say something along the lines of "These two covers have exactly the same amount of creative effort put into them, even though one of them changed nearly everything bar lyrics and the other just blithely parroted it", I honestly don't even know where to start with you.

TAGM:

See, there's a tiny difference you apparently didn't notice:
Coulton took the lyrics, changed the style, added a tune, changed the speed, basically reworked the thing. That's called a cover, and while it isn't as original as making something up from scratch, it does, at least, require a bit of creativity.

Glee then takes the song and does it exactly the fucking same way down to the speed, chordal progressions and everything, with very, VERY minor additions at best. That's what we in the business call "Ripping someone the fuck off." That doesn't require creativity, all that requires is, well, either being a dick and just doing it without permission, or asking and being nice. That's about the only creative process there - working out if you can theoretically get away with being a stealing ass.

Oh, wait, I'm sorry, you already addressed this, didn't you?

All I'm going to say is: If you're going to sit here and say something along the lines of "These two covers have exactly the same amount of creative effort put into them, even though one of them changed nearly everything bar lyrics and the other just blithely parroted it", I honestly don't even know where to start with you.

Before I start, I didn't say they had the same creative effort in them I said they did the same thing. The music is different in both of them and the pace of the song. If you're telling me that Mike Flowers version is exactly the same as Oasis even down to the music then i'll suggest cotton buds for that ear wax.

And for the 5th (or is it 6th now?) time, I didn't say Coulton was untalented I said cover versions are unoriginal. I don't like them, I never will, people can defend them until the cows come home it makes no difference. Baby Got Back with different music and pacing is still Baby Got Back ... but without what made the song fun to start with.

Of course Glee steals songs, it's a TV show made entirely of out of covering other peoples work.

I'm not going to sit here and abuse a TV show for covering a song which is itself a cover because 1 .. I don't like covers so i've never watched Glee to begin with and 2 .. it's free advertising for him. People that would not have listened to his song will now hear it. He may even make money out of it, maybe even a new fan or two.

It's already shown it works. I now know about him and i've never heard one of his songs until today. God bless the internet for bringing me new things.

Rawne1980:

Before I start, I didn't say they had the same creative effort in them I said they did the same thing. The music is different in both of them and the pace of the song. If you're telling me that Mike Flowers version is exactly the same as Oasis even down to the music then i'll suggest cotton buds for that ear wax.

And for the 5th (or is it 6th now?) time, I didn't say Coulton was untalented I said cover versions are unoriginal. I don't like them, I never will, people can defend them until the cows come home it makes no difference. Baby Got Back with different music and pacing is still Baby Got Back ... but without what made the song fun to start with.

Of course Glee steals songs, it's a TV show made entirely of out of covering other peoples work.

I'm not going to sit here and abuse a TV show for covering a song which is itself a cover because 1 .. I don't like covers so i've never watched Glee to begin with and 2 .. it's free advertising for him. People that would not have listened to his song will now hear it. He may even make money out of it, maybe even a new fan or two.

It's already shown it works. I now know about him and i've never heard one of his songs until today. God bless the internet for bringing me new things.

I'm not telling you Mike Flowers and Oasis made the same thing, no - The whole "One blithely parrots, the other changes" was in terms of Glee Vs. Coltron. But the thing is, in terms of Glee vs. Coultron, you're saying it's the same. Which implies, in turn, that the same amount of effort went into it. And I'm not about to say cover versions are 100% original, either - I guess it's an opinion based matter, so I can agree to disagree.

The issue I had was with the fact it at least sounded like you were saying that Coultron and Glee were doing the exact same thing to the songs, which they really didn't - Coultron at least made an attempt to change the thing, Glee just went ahead and stole it wholesale.

And really, I don't think the issue was ever "RAWR RAWR THEY COVERED DA SONG THAT'S CHEEEEETING" or some bollocks. It's less that they covered a song, which is perfectly cool from a legal perspective, and more that they covered the song without even bothering to ask the original artist if they could. Which is, technically, still legal (I think? Music copyright law gets a little tricky sometimes) but makes you out as more of a prick. If it wasn't for the fact that they snuck it in behind the original artist's back, this probably wouldn't even be here as news.

Rawne1980:

I'm not going to sit here and abuse a TV show for covering a song which is itself a cover because 1 .. I don't like covers so i've never watched Glee to begin with and 2 .. it's free advertising for him. People that would not have listened to his song will now hear it. He may even make money out of it, maybe even a new fan or two.

You know about him because people made a fuss about this. They're selling the arrangement he made and haven't credited him. There'd be a lot less fuss about this if they credited him.

TAGM:

I'm not telling you Mike Flowers and Oasis made the same thing, no - The whole "One blithely parrots, the other changes" was in terms of Glee Vs. Coltron. But the thing is, in terms of Glee vs. Coultron, you're saying it's the same. Which implies, in turn, that the same amount of effort went into it. And I'm not about to say cover versions are 100% original, either - I guess it's an opinion based matter, so I can agree to disagree.

The issue I had was with the fact it at least sounded like you were saying that Coultron and Glee were doing the exact same thing to the songs, which they really didn't - Coultron at least made an attempt to change the thing, Glee just went ahead and stole it wholesale.

And really, I don't think the issue was ever "RAWR RAWR THEY COVERED DA SONG THAT'S CHEEEEETING" or some bollocks. It's less that they covered a song, which is perfectly cool from a legal perspective, and more that they covered the song without even bothering to ask the original artist if they could. Which is, technically, still legal (I think? Music copyright law gets a little tricky sometimes) but makes you out as more of a prick. If it wasn't for the fact that they snuck it in behind the original artist's back, this probably wouldn't even be here as news.

Ahhh then I must not have explained myself very well.

I didn't mean Coultron and Glee did the same thing. I know Coultron did the cover of Baby Got Back and Glee just went ahead and did Coultron's version without permission.

I just went into a rant about covers, probably unrelated to the topic but there you go. It seems to have irritated some music fans to hear my views on covers but hey ho, we can't all agree on everything.

I wasn't referring to Coultron as a rip off artist, my only gripe with covers like his (well, all covers really) is I just don't find them as pleasant or original as some people do. Glee just basically takes a song and redoes it but it's one of those shows i've never got around to watching so I can't rant at it for that.

Rawne1980:

Ahhh then I must not have explained myself very well.

I didn't mean Coultron and Glee did the same thing. I know Coultron did the cover of Baby Got Back and Glee just went ahead and did Coultron's version without permission.

I just went into a rant about covers, probably unrelated to the topic but there you go. It seems to have irritated some music fans to hear my views on covers but hey ho, we can't all agree on everything.

I wasn't referring to Coultron as a rip off artist, my only gripe with covers like his (well, all covers really) is I just don't find them as pleasant or original as some people do. Glee just basically takes a song and redoes it but it's one of those shows i've never got around to watching so I can't rant at it for that.

Ah, well, now that you've cleared that up...

Personally, I end up judging the covers separately on a case-by-case basis myself. As for the Coultron one, I kinda like it personally, but hey - I'm not about to argue that you're wrong or anything, it's all opinions in the end, innit? :3

Sirtety:

Zachary Amaranth:

Incidentally, you cannot copyright an arrangement, so there's no real legal problem here. No issue with "not getting his permission."

I think it's a matter of poor taste rather than a legal one. The fact that the show used the arrangement without even speaking to Coulton comes off as kind of a jerk move. Even Weird Al asks the artist permission before he parodies their music, even though under US law he doesn't have to. It's just common courtesy I would think.

Do you think all those Watchtower covers consult with the Hendrix estate? His arrangement of the Dylan song is the standard these days, and yet Dylan's the one who gets the royalties and credit.

Rawne1980:

Iron Criterion:

If you're going to be up yourself, you may want to question your own intellectual capacity first.

Coulton made his own arrangement for the song. As in he CREATED the tune and just used Mix-A-lot's lyrics.

Glee used both Coulton's arrangement and his recording.

Coulton did a cover/re-imaging with permission; Glee stole Coulton's recording without permission.

Is that so hard to understand, Mr. High and Mighty?

You may want to read more before you attempt to jump in and fall flat at being clever.

Already gone over the "but he did his own music" attempt at a come back.

If you polish a turd, guess what?

It's still a turd.

Bad analogy but point still stands. Mo matter how much you change something, it's still the same thing. Anybody can take someone else's song and change the music and pace, just check Youtube. Lost count of the amount of folk on there covering songs but changing bits in a vain attempt to "make it their own".

I'm not saying Coulton doesn't have any talent i'm saying that a cover does not showcase said talent.

You know, that saying is actually terrible. It also doesn't follow. Most everything manmade is really just man-altered. A sword is not just a hunk of iron. A computer is not just a bunch of plastic and metal. It is something altogether different and honestly should be considered "original" to a certain degree. You are taking a rather absolute stance here which really makes no sense.

Also, considering that coffee made from what essentially amounts to polished bat turds is a delicacy, that saying doesn't even make sense literally.

This may be a bit off topic but HOLY CRAP! look at all the dislikes on the youtube page with the ripped off glee song. over 8k and likes are only just above 250. I don't know if it is a good thing but maybe it shows that nobody likes the idea of Someone ripping off and independent artist although I'm pretty sure its just his fans doing the dislikes but it would be cool if it was the other idea about ripping off an artist for everyone even people that don't know about Johnathan to show their Dislike.

RobDaBank:
I for one am a big Glee fan, (22yo straight male with a child). And honestly don't see the big problem with them covering songs. They definitely put a unique twist on each song which gives a clear distinction between their songs and the original. If I were to sing a song and people enjoyed it, would I be subject to a lawsuit because that song belonged to somebody else?

You can not preform the song without permission. Small family outings and small groups are ok, but if it is a medium to large crowd or if you make money off of it then no

Zachary Amaranth:

Sirtety:

Zachary Amaranth:

Incidentally, you cannot copyright an arrangement, so there's no real legal problem here. No issue with "not getting his permission."

I think it's a matter of poor taste rather than a legal one. The fact that the show used the arrangement without even speaking to Coulton comes off as kind of a jerk move. Even Weird Al asks the artist permission before he parodies their music, even though under US law he doesn't have to. It's just common courtesy I would think.

Do you think all those Watchtower covers consult with the Hendrix estate? His arrangement of the Dylan song is the standard these days, and yet Dylan's the one who gets the royalties and credit.

I'm pretty sure you're right about the legality issue (not a lawyer, wouldn't know); and I'm sure that not every band in existence contacts the original artist before doing a cover (unless they are making money off of it). I just think that a well known show, on a well known network, with a sizable fan base should be careful with the music they are using.

Heck they even left his name in the song.

I feel bad for the Fox Twitter team. Imagine how much hate tweets they get when all that rage should be directed at the higher ups. I'm sure they just pass it on, but some of them are probably charged to some degree with responses.

Rawne1980:
I'm merely pointing out that a cover is not a musical masterpiece no matter what bells and whistles have been slapped on it.

So... if I take a rap song and give it a tune, chords, complete backing, vocal harmony, and completely alter the tone and intention of it, that's just "bells and whistles"?

Are songs written to poems identical to the original poems? I mean, Jon pretty much just took the lyrics and completely re-wrote the song. No, not re-wrote, he actually went so far as to write a different song entirely and sing Baby Got Back's lyrics over it. I mean, a lot of covers do exactly what they say, but this isn't just a genre switch. Literally the only element that is the same between Sir Mix-a-Lot's and JoCo's versions of the song are the lyrics.

Definitely merits a lawsuit or simply a long and sloppy apology from fox.

A friend of mine is a Glee fan (don't judge me) and her reaction was "But they didn't do anything wrong, you can copy covers as much as you want!"

Which is true. But JoCo's baby got back isn't a cover. He paid for the rights to use Sir Mixalot's lyrics and made his own arrangement. The song is no longer "a version of baby got back", but an original creation. And you can't just heedlessly flat out copy those things. My guess? There's a composer for Glee that's gonna get fired for trying to pull this shit.

Steve the Pocket:
It's not just an arrangement; he added a tune to a song that originally didn't have one. It's no different from, say, putting a poem to music for the first time. Assuming he had the right to publish the song in the first place, his version is as protected by copyright as the original. Especially if it turns out Fox literally used the exact recording he made, which it sounds like they did (although how they managed to cleanly remove the vocals is a mystery to me).

That said, somehow I suspect Coulton didn't actually go through the proper legal channels to make his song in the first place. Nothing against Coulton personally, whom I know next to nothing about, but if he's anything like other Internet songwriting/recording hobbyists I've met, he probably assumed that Fair Use grants him the right to do whatever he wants with copyrighted material "because, uh, Internet and stuff."

JoCo has a Karaoke version for a lot of his songs, including 'Baby got back', you can find it here.

I'm not sure if what they did was illegal or not since covers don't fall under the same copyright rules as original works, the melody and pacing is totally different in his version so perhaps he has some grounds there but I'm not sure, hope he figures something out, wholesale stealing someone else's work should be unacceptable.

EDIT: Reading a bit more on copyright law if they used his recording without permission* then they're in trouble regardless.

* If you listen to any of the side by side comparisons the instrumentation is exactly the same so they probably did.

Lets see that's criminal miss use of Copy right, please pay 100 billoin to John or go to jail.

It's important to keep in mind here that FOX probably handles all of the copyright stuff. A lot of people in this thread are cursing the performers, but they're just given the notes and told what to sing.

On his site Joco says that the album is creative commons with attribution, and as long as no one makes money off of it, it's fine. So they just need to not make money off of it and credit him. So far, only that Swedish site is making money off of the song, apparently, so that's an issue, as well as the credit.

Come on FOX, get it together.

I'd have waited for it to actually be in the episode before pointing this out so I could then sue rather than this which has opened them up to saying it's completely unsubstantiated and not in the show.

But I like money.

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