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