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Author Topic: Glee/Fox, Jonathan Coulton, Butts and copyright.  (Read 3746 times)


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Wasn't too sure where to put this. Admins move if needed, please.

So Glee/Fox used Jonathan Coulton's arrangement, down to the slightly altered lyrics, of his cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back in an episode and are selling their version on iTunes. The producers did not credit him for his arrangement in the show or in their single but did say he should be glad of the "exposure". Everything Fox has done is technically legal due to Coulton's licence on his cover and how Fox paid for their release and how copyright on covers work. Although it seems the show may have even used Coulton's audio tracks.

Part of the issue here is it's come forward that lesser known artists have had their cover arrangements similarly used by Glee.

Links in no real order: (Note: These all kinda repeat each other.)
Jonathan Coulton's website and his personal post.

The two songs overlaid.

Wired interview of Coulton.

Coulton has now rereleased his version as "In the style of Glee" and is offering profits to two charities, excluding royalties and iTune's cut.

Possible other arrangements Glee may have used in a dodgy way.

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Re: Glee/Fox, Jonathan Coulton, Butts and copyright.
« Reply #1 on: 29 Jan 2013, 15:11 »

So a big company deliberately flouts the copyright that they mercilessly chase small guys for; is there a surprise there?

The most recent surprise for me in this field was the report that was written last year by a think tank for the Republican Party, no less - which recommended that moves should be made to reduce the term of copyright back to 12 years (two years shorter than when it was created under Queen Anne), extendible on payment of serious money to a maximum of 46 years.  This so enraged the RIAA and others that it was taken off the party's website within hours (the linked copy is on my own server).  The current scheme of continuing extensions of copyright terms is basically aimed at keeping the original Mickey Mouse movies in copyright in perpetuity, and the upcoming extension of recording copyright in the EU from 50 to 70 years I guess is to do the same for the Beatles discography.  It's nothing to do with aiding actual authors or composers - just follow the money!
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Re: Glee/Fox, Jonathan Coulton, Butts and copyright.
« Reply #2 on: 29 Jan 2013, 15:25 »

I heard about this and it kind of made me mad. JoCo doesn't need to be thankful for the exposure...he's already got it. He has a pretty large fan base. He may not be the most popular pop star ever, but that's because he doesn't suck. They should have at least credited him.
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Re: Glee/Fox, Jonathan Coulton, Butts and copyright.
« Reply #3 on: 29 Jan 2013, 15:38 »

In honor of Jonathan, I am listening to his entire discography, downloaded in .flac from his website. 

I just recently updated my collection of his music. 
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Re: Glee/Fox, Jonathan Coulton, Butts and copyright.
« Reply #4 on: 29 Jan 2013, 17:36 »

"Be thankful for the exposure! Though we didn't credit you or anything, so be thankful that...something something, I suck cocks in a negative connotation."

That's what I hear!
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