Did Fox TV’s Glee Rip Off Jonathan Coulton? You Decide [VIDEOS]

image from t0.gstatic.com"Hey look, @GLEEonFOX ripped off my cover of Baby Got Back," d.i.y singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton tweeted on Friday, "Never even contacted me. Class."  There are striking number of similarities between Coulton's unusual 2009 arrangement of Sir Mix-a-lot's 2005 hit and Glee's 2013 rendition. Watch them side be side and decide for yourself:

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  1. I am not a lawyer, so I might misinterpret the law, but I don’t believe Coulton has a leg to stand on and that FOX does not have to contact him. The creator of the work and/or the publishing company owns the right to derivative works created from their original composition. So, Glee needs only gain the permission of the author and/or their publisher for the melody and lyrics and can use any arrangement they want. If Coulton releases this on his CD or on iTunes, he owes mechanical royalties, if I were to record my own version of that song using his arrangement, I dont pay him a penny or have to get a license from him. So, I hate to say this, especially as a fan of Jonathan’s, but FOX did nothing wrong here and Jonathan has no intellectual property claim to this arrangement.

  2. The wrong argument is being had as did either of them ask SIR MIX-A-LOT!! Ha! That is the missing key as who paid mix-a-lot.He is the copyright owner of the song.But ok.

  3. I thought coulton was a “new artist” the kind that thought the pirate bay was cool, giving away his music was no problem, and hey, everything’s a remix right?
    hmmm… so it’s OK to get ripped off by the pirate bay and google, but not to get ripped off by Fox… mmmm kay…

  4. He doesn’t mind people downloading his songs, but his Creative Commons license stipulates non-commercial use, Glee is commercial use, now whether that license also covers his cover songs, no idea.

  5. Doesn’t matter whether he has a leg to stand on, even Weird Al asks for permission to record a parody, when he doesn’t have to. The least they could have done is inform him of it.
    As far as royalties, he has paid them.

  6. But they used the melody that he wrote and even say the “Johnny C” line which wasn’t in the original.

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