Why I’m Glad I Don’t Watch Glee

I mean, other than the fact that it’s on Fox, the premise of the show seems really fucking stupid, and I don’t really watch much TV anyway.

It’s because the people behind it are thieves.

You see, there is an indie musician who you may have heard of named Jonathan Coulton. He is famous among nerds for quite a few songs, such as the ending theme to Portal “Still Alive” and zombie anthem “RE: Your Brains.” He is probably most famous, however, for a soft-rock arrangement of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 hit “Baby Got Back.”

Which the popular Fox series ripped right the fuck off.

Without crediting him for it.

And Fox’s lawyers basically told him he should be glad for the exposure. Again, for something that they are refusing to credit or pay him for.

Now, you see, Mr. Coulton does release most of his stuff under a Creative Commons license.  This basically means that anyone who wishes to use or share his music is free do so. “Baby Got Back,” as it is a cover, is not released under a Creative Commons license since legally, Sir Mix-A-Lot is entitled to royalties. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t look like he really has very many options legally here, since ”[i]t seems that because of the compulsory license I purchased when I made a cover of this song, the arrangement itself is not protected under copyright, although it’s the darkest gray of the gray areas [of the law]… While there may be some weird offshoot of the law, it doesn’t seem like something where a little guy could sue to get any satisfaction.” (source)

He did have a pretty awesome response to this, though. Coulton, you see, decided to release the track on iTunes under the title “Baby Got Back (In The Style Of Glee).” You can find it here.

So, yeah. Fuck you, Fox. First you cancel Firefly, now you pull this bullshit.

More info on this can be found at Jonathan Coulton’s blog.

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