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Author Topic: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover  (Read 323 times)

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Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« on: February 01, 2013, 05:10:30 PM »
I don't know how many fans of either Glee and/or Johnathan Coulton are here on E, but either/or will probably have heard of a minor fiasco that's turning into a fairly large PR blunder for Fox, and a rather hilarious story with a happy ending.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Coulton, musician, made an accoustic cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's Baby Got Back song. In one of the recent episodes of Glee, the show used the JoCo (as he's called) cover, including his arrangement, his modified lyrics, and possibly even his raw audio (evidence inconclusive). At no point did they give him credit for anything related to the song.

Then, they put it up on Itunes for sale: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/baby-got-back-glee-cast-version/id592420108?i=592420188&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

According to Coulton's blog, his people got contacted by their people to say they had the law on their side, and he should be grateful to them for the free exposure (of his uncredited song used without permission). So while his fans took to social media to basically rake Fox over the coals, he's released a cover of the Glee cover of his cover (coverception?) on ITunes as well, donating all of the profit after licensing fees to charities (the It Gets Better project and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation).
http://www.forbes.com/sites/michelecatalano/2013/01/31/jonathan-coulton-vs-glee-and-fox-update-last-laughs/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/baby-got-back-glee-cast-version/id592420108?i=592420188&ign-mpt=uo%3D4


More productive, more mature, and waaaay more entertaining for bystanders than most of the alternatives. Thoughts?

EDIT: Oh, and Cracked Article, for bonus humor. WARNING: Sarcasm trigger.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 05:12:46 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Shjade

Re: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 07:34:37 PM »
Yeeeah, as I commented over on the Escapist when I first heard about it, this basically just means I've transitioned from "content to pretend Glee doesn't exist" to "actively dislikes Glee." More so after reading about what a dick the show's creator is toward musicians who don't agree to license their music to the show.

The whole thing just needs to go out the window.

Offline ElusiveM00se

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Re: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 08:23:34 AM »
It went beyond Glee stealing JoCo's cover.

They actually used his audio, too. A lot of the "flavor" that JoCo put in his cover, Glee kept. Even the parts where JoCo references himself, they left in during the very first airing of this episode. The audio has since been edited, and you won't find it on current versions available for streaming... but if a JoCo fan found themselves subjected to this episode of Glee - there's zero question that Glee didn't edit/improve/change ANYTHING from JoCo's version.

FOX is the root of all evil.

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 08:53:57 AM »
They kept his lyrics, yeah, but did anyone actually manage to confirm the audio theft? The key element was the duck quacking to block out profanity, last I checked even JoCo wasn't certain if he could hear the duck in the background.

Offline ElusiveM00se

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Re: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 09:33:03 AM »
This was the best article I've found on it -

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/01/jonathan-coulton-glee-song/

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »
I never thought I would like Glee, but Requiem has gotten into it, meaning it's on the TV when I'm at my computer. Despite myself, I've been drawn into it.

The problem isn't Glee itself. The problem is with Ryan Whatsisface, who throws ginormous hissy fits when bands like Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters decline to be featured in his show.

Offline Stella Maris

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Re: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 03:35:15 PM »
I've read a lot about this topic, since I'm something of a Coulton fan, and I'm something of a network non-fan.

It appears that absolutely nothing on Glee (music or dance moves) is original to the show.

They will do covers of famous songs with the exact same arrangement. Or they'll do less-famous covers of those songs that they can pass off as their own (no credit for the new arrangements anywhere official). And for the dance moves, one Hollywood choreographer has mentioned that he's been approached more than once to work with the show, but that instead of asking for new moves to go with the music, they want their choreographers to take dance moves created by someone else and use that step by step adjusted to fit their cast. He refuses and calls what they want the equivalent of taking a book that's in the public domain and copying it word for word and republishing it.

Coulton hasn't updated his blog regarding this, despite the fact that he figured he'd have an update the next week after his post about how he was going to protest this treatment by releasing the cover of the cover. And now he's on a boat, so he'll be incommunicado until the JoCo Crazy Cruise returns to port in a week.

That silence makes me suspect that there is actually some merit to the accusation that Glee used his actual audio tracks, which is a huge no-no with precedent being set that even using 4 seconds of someone else's recording is a violation and will land you in hot water. My suspicion is that the people at Glee figured that as long as they stomped all over indies and relative unknowns that they could keep doing this until the rating dropped enough to shut the show down.

As regard their using his arrangement, there's nothing illegal about that, as the license that granted him the ability to create and perform the cover gives all rights to that back to the original artist, making it part and parcel with that for anyone who comes along later to use in their own cover. That doesn't make it wrong, just not actionable.

~SM~

Online TheGlyphstoneTopic starter

Re: Glee rips Johnathan Coulton's "Baby Got Back" cover
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 03:59:23 PM »
Yeah, the arrangement's legality was never really in question - it's not illegal, just unethical. The legal part was the audio.