Saturday, January 19, 2013

Baby Got Theft: Glee and Intellectual Property Violation

Yesterday morning, I was checking Twitter like I do and noticed a tweet from Jonathan Coulton, one of my favorite artists posted this on Twitter:

Hmm? I thought as I clicked on the video to which he had linked:


I must say that I've been defending Glee to the haters, particularly to people who have given up on the series now in its fourth season. I've tried to maintain my identity as a Gleek through it all, but honestly, this is the last straw. On Coulton's blog, he says that he was initially alerted to an unofficial Glee Wiki with the listing for Baby Got Back. The wiki, of course, does not give credit to Coulton's cover, rather it gives full rights to Sir Mix-A-Lot. Could this be because people are not familiar with Jonathan Coulton's work? Perhaps, but the powers that be at Glee and Fox would have been aware of him to have specifically picked his version of Baby Got Back.

Coulton's cover of Baby Got Back is extremely unique and true to his artistic style. Not only did Glee swipe his cover, but it's believe that they actually used his audio and stripped away his vocals. There are aspects of his song that they included however. At 2:17, he says "Johnny C's in trouble" instead of "Mix-A-Lot's in trouble." Johnny C? Jonathan Coulton! They didn't even change the lyric! There's a duck quack for [expletive deleted as well.] That's just complete and utter crap.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of Coulton's original recording and the Glee recording, which will premiere on the eleventh episode of the season "Sadie Hawkins." It is to be sung by Kurt's new love interest Adam.

As you can see, the resemblance is uncanny. Really, this just pisses me off. Coulton maintains that Fox did not contact him for permission to use his cover. I have no doubt about that. Honestly, I think that someone heard his version ... somewhere... who really knows where and came into the planning meeting saying, "I have a brilliant idea! I heard this great version of Baby Got Back that we might be able to pull off as unique and fresh!" "A RAISE FOR YOU!" said his/her boss. Yes, I'm sure that's exactly how it went.

For more updates, check out Jonathan Coulton's blog and his Twitter account. You can support him by buying his music at CD Baby! Some of my favorite songs by him include Creepy Doll, Still Alive (of course),  Code Monkey, which was the first song I had heard by him.

I'm going to be following this story closely. I'm on the fence about watching this episode of Glee at all, but I think I will... for science!

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