Glee Airs Performance of Jonathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back"

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Glee Airs Performance of Jonathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back"

Glee refused to credit Jonathan Coulton for its version of his song, stating he should be "happy for the exposure."

Last week, a recording of "Baby Got Back" that a Youtube poster claimed was from an upcoming episode of Glee hit the interwebs, resulting in a huge backlash. See, Glee's version of "Baby Got Back" sounded suspiciously like Jonathan Coulton's version of the song. Coulton thought so, too, and began investigating copyright claims while his fans rushed to his defense. Last night, Glee returned from its winter hiatus, and "Baby Got Back" was among the episode's musical numbers. In response, Coulton wrote "I am pretty angry" on Twitter, elaborating on his blog this morning.

According to Jonathan Coulton, the show's policy is not to credit "covers of covers," so it's seemingly not unusual for Glee to air a performance without acknowledging its performer. Instead, he was told that he should be "happy for the exposure." "They do not credit me, and have not even publicly acknowledged that it's my version - so you know, it's kind of SECRET exposure," he wrote. Coulton also stated that Glee doesn't seem to be legally obligated to pay or credit him, but he's still investigating whether or not the show used his audio, which he thinks is likely.

The Glee performance of "Baby Got Back" is also now available in the U.S. iTunes store, accompanied by some one-star customer reviews upset about the show ripping off Coulton's version of the song.

Though Coulton may not legally have a case against Glee, he thanked fans for their support and requested that they "please continue not to burn anything down." If he can prove that Glee used his audio, he might still have a legal foot to stand on, but for now the cast of Glee will go unpunished. Well, aside from having to be on Glee.

Source: Jonathan Coulton

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He should release an album where he does all the glee songs

Sarah LeBoeuf:
but for now the cast of Glee will go unpunished. Well, aside from having to be on Glee.

Surely it's FOX, or Glee's musical director(s?) and/or producers fault, not so much the cast?

"happy for the exposure"

What perfect little douchebags these people are.

Scumbags. All of them are scumbags. I now have to upgrade my rating of Glee once again. Initially it was rated at "bad" and progressed to "harmful to society" and now I'll have to go up to "evil".

I...may be missing something here,
How can he be "happy for the exposure" when they're not crediting him?

So when the dead eyed tween starts asking if mr Colton ripped off glee and omg is he a fan comments pop up, should we be ok with that?

Seriously, if I hear that, I'm going to consider tying them to a chair and playing a history of modern music series for them. Hopefully it'll reverse the brain cell loss from the glee-ification process.

Originally I was considering using stairs and gravity, but I don't want to give fox any ammo.

................... Motherf***ers.
I would love to scream and shout at curse. But if I said what was really on my mind the MODs would ban me. So just imagine me giving the glee writers a finger. A finger the size of a medium size elephant

Wow, what first class cock-knockers those people are. Fuck them.

Stay classy, FOX.

"Human decency and common courtesy? Hey Carol, are we legally obliged to be decent about this? Look it up, I'll wait.

No? Sweet.. Yeah, hi, Mr Coulton? Eat it."

It's an odd world we're living in, when in the less than common case of someone's content actually being infringed upon for once (if the news here on the Escapist are anything to go by), the creator of said content can't do shit.

Also, "he should be "happy for the exposure."" (in this context), has to be one of the most incompetent and at the same time arrogant things I've ever heard anyone say, and if that comment can't be used against them in some way, then I don't know what the hell can.

I was kind of hoping to see Coulton sue, so people would actually see the courts shoot him down and understand how this works.

Orange12345:
He should release an album where he does all the glee songs

Yes, but why would he want to do mediocre covers? I mean, did you see that horrible arrangement of "Baby Got Back" they did?

IckleMissMayhem:
Surely it's FOX, or Glee's musical director(s?) and/or producers fault, not so much the cast?

You make it sound like the show is not real or something, and those people don't directly control either the content or the credit.

IS MY WHOLE WORLD A LIE?

zaheela:
So when the dead eyed tween starts asking if mr Colton ripped off glee and omg is he a fan comments pop up, should we be ok with that?

You DO know this was a major thing before Glee, right? Just ask Queen, Joan Jett, the Who, Don Henley, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan...And they all got credit. Well, unless you count "Ice Ice Baby," but I was thinking of other Queen songs like "We Will Rock You."

Not Matt:
................... Motherf***ers.
I would love to scream and shout at curse. But if I said what was really on my mind the MODs would ban me. So just imagine me giving the glee writers a finger. A finger the size of a medium size elephant

Why are the writers getting your ire?

xptn40S:

Also, "he should be "happy for the exposure."" (in this context), has to be one of the most incompetent and at the same time arrogant things I've ever heard anyone say, and if that comment can't be used against them in some way, then I don't know what the hell can.

Exactly. I'd love to know if they feel 'happy for the exposure' when people illegally download their shows. After all, they might show a friend who might buy it.

Yeah, they'll see it like that too, won't they?

Ill chosen words indeed, callous and condescending.

I would love to comment but I can't get past 10 seconds of that awful video so I would have no idea if they ripped it off or not.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
Glee refused to credit Jonathan Coulton for its version of his song, stating he should be "happy for the exposure."

Huh, that's exactly what I said when I pantsed girls back in middle school

I wonder if Sir-Mixalot got his money in either case?

Woah.

On an unrelated note, I'm now working on a show called Squee, where a group of ragtag high school kids painstakingly repaint classical works of art.
I take it not crediting Glee is going to be fine as well?

As if I needed another reason to hate Glee (you know, besides dragging down the music industry further), they came up with a legitimate reason!

And JoCo, you got a legal foot to stand on here, man. If you don't call 'em out, they will keep doing this!

Never seen glee before...*clicks on vid*...the f*** did I just watch?! Excuse me as I go pour bleach in my eyes.

theApoc:
I wonder if Sir-Mixalot got his money in either case?

I was wondering that too. I mean, surely they'd have to ask the original artist at least, right?

What's mostly annoying me about this, though, is: Even if they don't legally have to ask for his permission, or even give him credit where credit's due, they should have anyway purely cos it's the decent thing to do. Unfortunately, capitalism doesn't work like that. Capitalism means people will get whatever they can and not give a shit about who it negatively affects.

Wow, that's a dick move. "Happy for the exposure" when they don't even give him credit? Seriously? It wouldn't be quite so bad if they weren't selling the song on iTunes. Making money from a song you used without permission without changing anything really can't be legal, can it?

Christ this story just continues to make me depressed. Regardless of the legal shennanigans, Coulton should have gotten some recognition. He was never asking for much, just plain common courtesy. And to top it all off, their performance of the song wasn't even that good - all the actors were grinning too much (which is, by the way, nearly impossible to do when you're actually singing something), and they didn't even attempt to make it actually look like they were singing the song at all. This is what happens when executives get lazy with other people's creativity, and it happens far too often.

Orange12345:
He should release an album where he does all the glee songs

Glee doesn't have any songs.

Quaxar:
Woah.

On an unrelated note, I'm now working on a show called Squee, where a group of ragtag high school kids painstakingly repaint classical works of art.
I take it not crediting Glee is going to be fine as well?

Sure, if they have a problem, just tell them the exposure will do them good.

Also, if you want to photocopy pictures of those famous paintings and sell them, well apparently that's just dandy.

Kirov Reporting:

xptn40S:

Also, "he should be "happy for the exposure."" (in this context), has to be one of the most incompetent and at the same time arrogant things I've ever heard anyone say, and if that comment can't be used against them in some way, then I don't know what the hell can.

Exactly. I'd love to know if they feel 'happy for the exposure' when people illegally download their shows. After all, they might show a friend who might buy it.

Yeah, they'll see it like that too, won't they?

Ill chosen words indeed, callous and condescending.

Yep, if this would happen to become the case, they wouldn't have any right to cry about it without also making themselves look like hypocrites to everyone.

ex951753:
Never seen glee before...*clicks on vid*...the f*** did I just watch?! Excuse me as I go pour bleach in my eyes.

That was my reaction. I forced myself to sit through like the first 3 episodes cause everyone I worked with loved it so much. It was some of the most insipid shit I've ever seen. Side-note, I worked in a hospital and 95% of my co-workers were middle-age soccer moms.

xptn40S:

Kirov Reporting:

xptn40S:

Also, "he should be "happy for the exposure."" (in this context), has to be one of the most incompetent and at the same time arrogant things I've ever heard anyone say, and if that comment can't be used against them in some way, then I don't know what the hell can.

Exactly. I'd love to know if they feel 'happy for the exposure' when people illegally download their shows. After all, they might show a friend who might buy it.

Yeah, they'll see it like that too, won't they?

Ill chosen words indeed, callous and condescending.

Yep, if this would happen to become the case, they wouldn't have any right to cry about it without also making themselves look like hypocrites to everyone.

It's Fox, being hypocritical is what they do. Hell they survive on it. Compare the content of most Fox TV shows to Fox news. The whole Fox brand is a contradiction of itself.

Unnecessary statement: The producers Glee are douche-bags.

(I rediscovered KoTOR II)

I guess they think that Coulton isn't mainstream enough to deserve credit as say, the creators of the other songs they've covered.

Unnecessary repetition: The producers of Glee are douche-bags.

"Be glad that we used your cover without crediting you whatsoever and are making money off of your work without your permission!"

Wow, the person who said that must really like lawsuits...

That video was horrifying. I'm going to have to side with Community in stating that I don't understand the appeal at all.

Sylveria:

xptn40S:

Kirov Reporting:

Exactly. I'd love to know if they feel 'happy for the exposure' when people illegally download their shows. After all, they might show a friend who might buy it.

Yeah, they'll see it like that too, won't they?

Ill chosen words indeed, callous and condescending.

Yep, if this would happen to become the case, they wouldn't have any right to cry about it without also making themselves look like hypocrites to everyone.

It's Fox, being hypocritical is what they do. Hell they survive on it. Compare the content of most Fox TV shows to Fox news. The whole Fox brand is a contradiction of itself.

Sooo, stop me if I'm being inaccurate here:

Would it be fair to say that they're like modern-day bandits?

I.E:

They steal from you: "Up yours, loser!"

You steal from them: "We'll take back what's "ours" and make you eat shit!"

Zachary Amaranth:
I was kind of hoping to see Coulton sue, so people would actually see the courts shoot him down and understand how this works.

zaheela:
So when the dead eyed tween starts asking if mr Colton ripped off glee and omg is he a fan comments pop up, should we be ok with that?

You DO know this was a major thing before Glee, right? Just ask Queen, Joan Jett, the Who, Don Henley, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan...And they all got credit. Well, unless you count "Ice Ice Baby," but I was thinking of other Queen songs like "We Will Rock You."

Yeah, and its also not limited to music; it happens in books, pictures, and every medium, but the topic on hand is music. The actual first time I heard this happen with glee and the lack of interest in researching songs and the works which may of been inspired by and such was in reference to a broadway song. If this was a case of digital/practical art plagerism, i''d make them read an art history book. I was more commenting on how so many kids wont look beyond that single coat of paint. Can't we just focus on the fact that glee is a lazy mess and that they don't respect artists and their work?

As if I needed any other reasons not to watch this sorry show. I do so hope he's able to prove that they used his audio so that he can go after them for that, at least. Otherwise, yeah, you can still be a dick and be within the law. Doesn't mean it won't have consequences otherwise, though.

I'm reminded of the "Cooks Source" meltdown. http://diannej.com/blog/2010/11/5-lessons-about-stealing-recipes-and-web-justice/ (and elsewhere.)

Glee has often seemed to have a tempestuous relationship with the people who provide (or refuse to provide) the music they use at best- see also: http://screenrant.com/glee-music-ryan-murphy-dave-grohl-foo-fighters-mcrid-106663/

There's a colossal amount of arrogance on display, there, and it deserves to be deflated.

Yet another reason I have for not watching this insipid piece of shit, alongside terrible covers, some people banging on about how it is/was "DA BEST SHOW EVA <3" and it somehow managing to win awards for fucking comedy apparently. And that fact has generated more laughs from me than any part of the actual bloody show.

And of course there's Ryan Murphy, asshole that he is, basically saying that people should be thankful for his apparently godly vision picking their song, and then throwing an almighty hissy fit when they simply say no.

And finally, there's the simple fact that Community made a better "Glee" episode, while ripping the show to shreds, in 30 minutes than Glee has managed in it's entirety.

Any number of talented youtubers fear to recite more than a line of any song for fear of being sued out the ass, but Glee can get away with this crap?

Also the 'happy to get the exposure' line reminds me of that author that stole a bunch of other people's work and published it without credit, I can't remember the specifics though.

I hope Glee totally gets the The Oatmeal treatment.

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