Jonathan Coulton responds to Fox/Glee's plagiarism of his song by "covering" it and making rival version available for sale

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29 Responses to “Jonathan Coulton responds to Fox/Glee's plagiarism of his song by "covering" it and making rival version available for sale”

  1. bardfinn says:

    And it is beating the pants off Glee’s version in sales.

  2. Kwolfbrooks says:

    This is what I like to see! We should start collecting money for his legal defense, though.

    • Guysmiley says:

      All he did was “re-release” the exact same song he made back in 2005. It would be hilarious to see Fox try and sue for that.

  3. Bashtarle says:

    I’ll be sticking with the original (Sir Mix Alot), still good on him for doing this. Its disgustingly hypocritical how a “content provider” like Fox freaks out when someone messes with their content but they seem to feel perfectly entitled to blatantly lift someone else’s work. Even if said work was just a cover version of a classic.

  4. FreakCitySF says:

    Awesome idea!

  5. BillGlover says:

    JoCo is the Wind Beneath My Wings(tm)

  6. Paul Potts says:

    This is not quite what he did. The “in the style of Glee” is just a name change. It’s the same track that Coulton released years ago. He’s just mocking them by claiming to be imitating their imitation (well, pretty much complete rip-off) of him.
    See his post: http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2013/01/26/baby-got-back-glee-style/

    Although copping Glee’s version would have been kinda awesome in its own way!

    • Yeah. Wish the BB article mentioned this, because it really is the best part. He didn’t release a cover of their cover. He just re-released his original version with a new Glee-mocking name. Which is just awesome. 

  7. When I first read that Glee had been so lazy that they had even left the changed lyric of “Johnny C” in, I knew that they were not just thieves, but lazy thieves.
    Important to note that Coulton is giving Mix-a-Lot his fair share and donating the balance to charities.

  8. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Should have gone with the campier In the Key of Glee.

  9. If a cover of the original is OK, why is a cover of a cover not OK?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      He wrote original music for the piece. And they didn’t cover it; they used his recording of his original music.

      • $19428857 says:

        You keep saying that and it’s still not true. Music licensing does not split the music from the lyrics. Coulton relied on a compulsory mechanical license to use the Sir Mix-A-Lot lyrics which specifically does not allow a change in melody.

         http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/115

        “A compulsory license includes the privilege of making a musical arrangement of the work to the extent necessary to conform it to the style or manner of interpretation of the performance involved, but the arrangement SHALL NOT CHANGE THE MELODY or fundamental character of the work, AND SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO PROTECTION AS A DERIVATIVE WORK under this title, EXCEPT WITH THE EXPRESS CONSENT of the copyright owner.

        - 17 USC § 115 (subsection A2) – Scope of exclusive rights in nondramatic musical works: Compulsory license for making and distributing phonorecords

    • John Fenton says:

      Coulton got a license and paid/is paying royalties to Sir Mix-A-Lot for his cover of Mix’s song.

      Fox gave no royalties and no credit.

  10. Hanglyman says:

    Hilarious, though I wonder if this will eventually end up confusing people who aren’t already familiar with Coulton and with Glee’s plagiarism. Simply naming it “in the style of Glee” is practically guaranteed to make those people assume that Glee was first.

    • Agreed. I wish he’d named it something else. “In the style of Glee” sounds like an admission that Glee’s version is the original. But…not sure what else he could have named it. 

  11. Kerouac says:

    Already had it, but bought it again. Best 99 cents I’ve spent on anything that isn’t made of latex.

  12. Glee needs to apologize, if not for still being on the air then for this, at least. I’m broke as hell but I bought my copy. 

  13. pjcamp says:

    Too bad John Denver passed away or he could do the same thing to Coulton.

  14. Nitpicking:
    Cory, it’s ‘Baby Got Back’, not ‘Baby’s Got Back’.
    It’s in both this post and the 1/19 post on the same story.

  15. Jonathan Roberts says:

    Why stop there? Why not make covers of some of their other covers too and release an album?

  16. Luther Blissett says:

    Oh, I smell someone at Fox coming up with “Hey, see what I mean, he should have been thankful in the first place. Now, he’s got a lot more attention!”

  17. Steve Stein says:

    Still waiting for Glee to cover “First of May”.

  18. Baldhead says:

    Would love to hear what Mixalot thinks of all this. Probably just loves the extra royalty cheques. Well i hope he’s getting something anyway.

  19. Edd Potts says:

    Actually a lot of people heard about him years ago, either because they listen to geek rock or played Portal, and most Glee watchers won’t have heard of him due to Fox not giving him credit for his music.

    And the file sharing comment is a ridiculous comparison. This is about an independent artist being ripped off by a large company that can easily afford to pay him, not a large company complaining about lost profits that don’t exist in the first place.

  20. Sparrow says:

    I know who Johnathan Coulton is; he is also well known as the author of the song ‘Still Alive’ used in the video game Portal. I have yet to see an episode of Glee, and have no intention of breaking the streak. If it were up to Fox, no-one would know who they ripped off, because they have a policy of not crediting the musicians they rip off, or even the ones they licence songs from. Get back under your bridge.

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