Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Salon)   Glee rips off Jonathan Coulton's cover of "Baby Got Back", becomes the catalyst of a war between music nerds and Glee nerds   (salon.com ) divider line
    More: Asinine, Jonathan Coulton, Baby Got Back, Glee, Sir Mix-a-Lot  
•       •       •

3304 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 18 Jan 2013 at 4:20 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



106 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-01-18 05:41:24 PM  

Theaetetus: unlikely: Theaetetus: except that they pay license fees to the publishers

...which may well be the other part of the story we don't know. Did they pay ASCAP and the publishers and there was no need to actually bother even telling Coulton, since he'll get his check from the industry eventually?

Hence the other part of my initial question... is this covered under any agreements he has with ASCAP? A quick search in their repertory on ASCAP.com doesn't show Coulton as a member (nor do any of his other songs show up in a search), so the answer may be no.


All of Coulton's unlicensed (nonPortal)/non-covers(BgB, Queen covers) works are released in Creative Commons, but not allowing commercial use, FWIW.
 
2013-01-18 05:42:52 PM  

unlikely: Theaetetus: except that they pay license fees to the publishers

...which may well be the other part of the story we don't know. Did they pay ASCAP and the publishers and there was no need to actually bother even telling Coulton, since he'll get his check from the industry eventually?


It doesn't quite work that way. If they were just doing a cover that they were recording, they'd only need to contact ASCAP to get a licence and Coulton wouldn't know about it until he got royalty checks. If you're putting it in some other kind of audio visual work (like a movie, TV show, or webisode), they probably need a Synchronization Licence which is negotiated with the artist (or licencing agent). Those aren't as easy as just filling out ASCAP forms and it's really not likely that Coulton wouldn't know it was happening. If they used his actual tracks, they'd also have to negotiate a Master Use Licence for his recording.
 
2013-01-18 05:45:00 PM  

RevMercutio: Theaetetus: unlikely: Theaetetus: except that they pay license fees to the publishers

...which may well be the other part of the story we don't know. Did they pay ASCAP and the publishers and there was no need to actually bother even telling Coulton, since he'll get his check from the industry eventually?

Hence the other part of my initial question... is this covered under any agreements he has with ASCAP? A quick search in their repertory on ASCAP.com doesn't show Coulton as a member (nor do any of his other songs show up in a search), so the answer may be no.

All of Coulton's unlicensed (nonPortal)/non-covers(BgB, Queen covers) works are released in Creative Commons, but not allowing commercial use, FWIW.


He could have a CC license for non-commercial use, and a paid (even ASCAP) license for commercial use. But it appears he's not an ASCAP member.
 
2013-01-18 05:46:38 PM  
So hes complaining that somebody used music without his permission of him using somebody elses music?
 
2013-01-18 05:49:39 PM  

Warlordtrooper: So hes complaining that somebody used music without his permission of him using somebody elses music?


See how stupid you look if you don't read the thread before posting?
 
2013-01-18 05:50:03 PM  
Clarifiation: I misspoke (mistyped) ASCAP collects royalties for the artist. You don't get the Mechanical Licence from them (the one you need just to do the cover tune). But they liklely have the information about the publisher available. Once you know that, then you contact Harry Fox or use a similar service the get teh Mechanical Licence to allow you to record your cover tune.

Your Sync Licence is a whole other can of worms, and you'd need to be in touch with the artist's representatives, if you want your cover tune of someone else's music on TV.
 
2013-01-18 05:51:34 PM  

Warlordtrooper: So hes complaining that somebody used music without his permission of him using somebody elses music?


No, he's complaining that they used *his arrangement* of someone else's music, as well as using his *original lyrics*, without so much as a by-your-leave. And they may have very well just simply recorded new vocals over his instrumental performance without so much as a by-your-leave.
 
2013-01-18 05:57:07 PM  

Iggie: Glee did the same thing to Barenaked Ladies, but I can't find out if they gave credit or not.

Barenaked Ladies - Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

Glee version


Unlike Coulton, they are under a major label, and likely got money for the use of their work.
 
2013-01-18 06:01:24 PM  

ClavellBCMI: Warlordtrooper: So hes complaining that somebody used music without his permission of him using somebody elses music?

No, he's complaining that they used *his arrangement* of someone else's music, as well as using his *original lyrics*, without so much as a by-your-leave. And they may have very well just simply recorded new vocals over his instrumental performance without so much as a by-your-leave.


This. Since he has the instrumental version on his website, as well as the master tracks on his JoCo looks back download they were out there.
 
2013-01-18 06:02:50 PM  

hulk hogan meat shoes: The only good thing about Glee is this shiat right here.

[mybodymyimage.com image 628x434]


No - this is....

userserve-ak.last.fm
 
2013-01-18 06:08:13 PM  
All they want to do is use his song. They're not unreasonable.
 
2013-01-18 06:13:39 PM  
I don't think I can imagine something funnier than a guy crying about the artistic integrity of his "Baby got back" cover.
 
2013-01-18 06:15:08 PM  

mooseyfate: All they want to do is use his song. They're not unreasonable.


We're just gonna plagiarizer. If you open up the door we'll all come inside and use your song.
 
2013-01-18 06:26:32 PM  

Leishu: Iggie: Glee did the same thing to Barenaked Ladies, but I can't find out if they gave credit or not.

Barenaked Ladies - Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

Glee version

Unlike Coulton, they are under a major label, and likely got money for the use of their work.


"Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah" was released on the album "Barenaked for the Holidays". That album was the first release on their own, independent, label "Desperation Records". Warner Records distributed it, but I don't know enough about music rights to know if Warner would have any say over Glee using it.
 
2013-01-18 06:28:55 PM  

Malcolm_Sex: I don't think I can imagine something funnier than a guy crying about the artistic integrity of his "Baby got back" cover.


But it is an awesome cover.
 
2013-01-18 06:32:27 PM  

Malcolm_Sex: I don't think I can imagine something funnier than a guy crying about the artistic integrity of his "Baby got back" cover.


Who's crying about artistic integrity? If this qualifies as an illegitimate use of his melody and duck sound, then Jonnie gots ta get hisself paid.
 
2013-01-18 06:32:27 PM  

unlikely: Seriously, glee, WTF.

That's not even a question of whether they copied his or not.

The only question I have is whether Coulton consulted Sir Mix-A-Lot before doing his...



He doesn't have to, and actually, they don't have to consult him before doing a cover of Baby's Got Back exactly like his.

Style of performance is not copyrightable. You can rip off someone's performance, and many people have done so throughout the history of rock music. The author of the song gets songwriting credit, and if you use samples you have to pay the owner of the sound recording. But arrangement and performance style, and production techniques are up for grabs.

This would be a great litmus test for whether they maybe should be, since they've ripped off the complete arrangment, performance style, and production of his version.
 
2013-01-18 06:37:43 PM  

Christian Bale: Style of performance is not copyrightable. You can rip off someone's performance, and many people have done so throughout the history of rock music. The author of the song gets songwriting credit, and if you use samples you have to pay the owner of the sound recording. But arrangement and performance style, and production techniques are up for grabs.


Except that this was an arrangement, rather than a performance style - he actually wrote new music that used Sir's lyrics. As such, the music is most definitely copyrightable.
 
2013-01-18 06:40:33 PM  
So what. He doesn't own the copyright. He owns his performance of it and if someone does something similar... well performances can be similar and he can't do a damn thing about it. And rightfully so.
 
2013-01-18 06:47:49 PM  

Christian Bale: But arrangement and performance style, and production techniques are up for grabs.


Not true - arrangements are potentially protected by copyright. See the Copyright Office's publication on copyright of derivative works. The perfect example is using words from the Bible as lyrics to a song with new music. If the music is original and copyrightable in itself - if it would be copyrightable as an instrumental - then the derivative work is also copyrightable.
In this case, Coulton wrote an original melody and music, that would be copyrightable if it was an instrumental. Therefore, he also has rights to the derivative work. He has no rights over the lyrics.
 
2013-01-18 06:48:50 PM  

Christian Bale: Style of performance is not copyrightable.


Christian Bale: and if you use samples you have to pay the owner of the sound recording


unlikely: See how stupid you look if you don't read the thread before posting?

 
2013-01-18 06:48:53 PM  

robsul82: Hahaha...be less blatant next time, Ryan Murphy.


Seriously. You can play them together and they're pretty much exactly in sync. Hopefully Coulton gets some more publicity out of it. I recently heard him on an NPR weekend show, glad to see he's getting more mainstream attention.

/Not that NPR is mainstream.
 
2013-01-18 06:49:27 PM  

mrlewish: So what. He doesn't own the copyright. He owns his performance of it and if someone does something similar... well performances can be similar and he can't do a damn thing about it. And rightfully so.


The music was original, and so he holds the copyright for that music. A "similar performance" that copied his original music would infringe.
 
2013-01-18 06:53:25 PM  

Malcolm_Sex: I don't think I can imagine something funnier than a guy crying about the artistic integrity of his "Baby got back" cover.


How about someone being mad that a major prime time show ripped off the music he wrote?
 
2013-01-18 07:21:45 PM  
I find it more newsworthy that Glee is still on the air.
 
2013-01-18 07:28:06 PM  

Krab: mooseyfate: All they want to do is use his song. They're not unreasonable.

We're just gonna plagiarizer. If you open up the door we'll all come inside and use your song.


*internet fist-bump*
 
2013-01-18 07:39:08 PM  

Theaetetus: mrlewish: So what. He doesn't own the copyright. He owns his performance of it and if someone does something similar... well performances can be similar and he can't do a damn thing about it. And rightfully so.

The music was original, and so he holds the copyright for that music. A "similar performance" that copied his original music would infringe.


Don't forget he also has original elements he added to the lyrics. How much does he have to add before the lyrics count as a derivative work?
 
2013-01-18 07:43:51 PM  

pslong009: WhoIsWillo: unlikely: Seriously, glee, WTF.

That's not even a question of whether they copied his or not.

The only question I have is whether Coulton consulted Sir Mix-A-Lot before doing his...

They previously did this with the Greg Laswell version of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and credited him for the arrangement.

They also did it with their arrangement of Yeah by Usher. Glee pretty much ripped off their arrangement from a collegiate a cappella group.


This is worse than both those examples. Those other times, the cover versions that Glee ripped off were still using the same tunes as the originals. This one, they covered an original musical composition without doing the requisite work to get the rights to use it from the copyright holder of that musical composition. They needed to get rights from both Mix-A-Lot and Coulton.
 
2013-01-18 08:00:12 PM  

Iggie: Leishu: Iggie: Glee did the same thing to Barenaked Ladies, but I can't find out if they gave credit or not.

Barenaked Ladies - Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

Glee version

Unlike Coulton, they are under a major label, and likely got money for the use of their work.

"Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah" was released on the album "Barenaked for the Holidays". That album was the first release on their own, independent, label "Desperation Records". Warner Records distributed it, but I don't know enough about music rights to know if Warner would have any say over Glee using it.


It's not a case of when/how it was released but of who they are currently represented by.
 
2013-01-18 08:02:57 PM  

Teiritzamna: Malcolm_Sex: I don't think I can imagine something funnier than a guy crying about the artistic integrity of his "Baby got back" cover.

How about someone being mad that a major prime time show ripped off the music he wrote?


This. Artists use CC so that other artists can share and elaborate upon their works without a cost barrier. Fox Television is about as far opposite as you can get from an artist that would be stymied by a cost barrier. This is "we did it because fark YOU, that's why" territory. Given the proliferation of liars and cheaters in the news this week, Fox trying to bully an independent solo artist is not going to work...
 
2013-01-18 08:20:08 PM  
The lyrics belong to Mix-a-lot, but Coulton wrote the new melody. It's theft.
 
2013-01-18 08:36:03 PM  
I'd imagine that in the liner notes for Thing a Week it credits Sir Mix-a-Lot for the music and lyrics. Therefore, it's his song, not Coulton's. Sorry, music nerds, but your rage fails in court.
 
2013-01-18 08:48:40 PM  

vonschiller: I'd imagine that in the liner notes for Thing a Week it credits Sir Mix-a-Lot for the music and lyrics. Therefore, it's his song, not Coulton's. Sorry, music nerds, but your rage fails in court.


The lyrics, yeah, but the music? Not likely.
 
2013-01-18 09:06:35 PM  

hulk hogan meat shoes: The only good thing about Glee is this shiat right here.

[mybodymyimage.com image 628x434]


Really? Her?
If you're into eye candy:

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com

/show is now terrible
 
2013-01-18 09:24:00 PM  

vonschiller: I'd imagine that in the liner notes for Thing a Week it credits Sir Mix-a-Lot for the music and lyrics. Therefore, it's his song, not Coulton's. Sorry, music nerds, but your rage fails in court.


And you are wrong. It's a new arrangement, and while *MOST* of the lyrics are from Sir-Mix-A-Lot, some of them are Coulton's. He rewrote a few lines. The arrangement is all his. The issue is that Glee ripped off his arrangement and used *HIS* lyrics, rather than create their own arrangement. That's the issue and why people are bringing it up.
 
2013-01-18 09:32:18 PM  
 
2013-01-18 10:19:22 PM  
I once heard a cover of that song, done by an a capella group in the style of a medieval church choir. You haven't lived until you've heard a soaring falsetto singing about "My Anaconda".
 
2013-01-18 10:26:07 PM  
Both are inferior to the version from Richard Cheese
 
2013-01-18 10:28:51 PM  
I would care about this, but the whole "nerdy guy(s) doing an acoustic cover of a rap song" schtick hasn't been amusing since like 2003. Assuming it ever was.
 
2013-01-18 10:37:14 PM  

RevMercutio: Theaetetus: unlikely: Theaetetus: except that they pay license fees to the publishers

...which may well be the other part of the story we don't know. Did they pay ASCAP and the publishers and there was no need to actually bother even telling Coulton, since he'll get his check from the industry eventually?

Hence the other part of my initial question... is this covered under any agreements he has with ASCAP? A quick search in their repertory on ASCAP.com doesn't show Coulton as a member (nor do any of his other songs show up in a search), so the answer may be no.

All of Coulton's unlicensed (nonPortal)/non-covers(BgB, Queen covers) works are released in Creative Commons, but not allowing commercial use, FWIW.


I think that means there's some serious lawsuit'n about to happen. CC-NC is pretty definitive. "No, you can't use this for commercial purposes". A TV show is commercial purposes (and not just because the entire point of a TV show is to serve as filler for commercials).

I'd be interested to know if a blanket CC-NC like this brings things into the "statutory damages" arena. Where'd you go, mister IP lawyer farker guy?
 
2013-01-18 10:43:37 PM  
ASCAP killed the Glee club at Greendale a few years ago. Like seriously killed them.
Almost ruined the Christmas pageant but it was saved by Jeff Wingers study group. Then they went and Britta'd it all up.

Also I just want a Weird Al episode of Glee, then they have my permission to die.
 
2013-01-18 10:53:34 PM  

soporific: vonschiller: I'd imagine that in the liner notes for Thing a Week it credits Sir Mix-a-Lot for the music and lyrics. Therefore, it's his song, not Coulton's. Sorry, music nerds, but your rage fails in court.

And you are wrong. It's a new arrangement, and while *MOST* of the lyrics are from Sir-Mix-A-Lot, some of them are Coulton's. He rewrote a few lines. The arrangement is all his. The issue is that Glee ripped off his arrangement and used *HIS* lyrics, rather than create their own arrangement. That's the issue and why people are bringing it up.


No, it's not. The issue is that it seems like Glee flat-out stole his instrumentation. He released the source tracks, but the catch is that Baby Got Back does not have the CC license all of his original songs do.

Personally? They sound identical to me. Left channel is Glee; right is Coulton.
 
2013-01-18 11:29:03 PM  
Here's another question for you actual IP fellows:

Don't you need permission from the songwriter to rewrite lyrics? I was under the impression that permission to use a song absolutely does not allow lyrics to be rewritten without separate and specific permission. Inquiring minds want to know, etc.
 
2013-01-19 12:15:31 AM  
Ryan Murphy used Baby Got Back in an episode of Popular, back in the day (when April Tuna tried out for the Glamazons and then everyone thought she died in a car crash). That scene is what really made me love the song, so I'm kind of sad, but not surprised, that he and Glee pulled a douche move like this.
 
2013-01-19 01:17:39 AM  

Krab: deadsanta: Glee even stole his name: At 2:16 you can hear the lyric "Johnny C's in trouble".

/srsly wtf

and at 2:40 you can hear the duck quack. It sounds like they used the karaoke track from his website.


I had never before heard of this cover until this headline, but I listened to it, and liked it. But at some point in the song I thought I heard a duck quack. It made me look around.

25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-01-19 01:28:37 AM  

Lsherm: Meh.   He ripped off Dynamite Hack.


I love that cover. i'd never seen the music video. Was not disappointed
 
2013-01-19 02:08:48 AM  
The JoCo Primer - Getting Music
There are lots of ways to get music from me, whether you're a cyborg from the future with an iPod in your skull, or a little old granny in Idaho with nothing but an antique "CD Player." Lots of it is freely available depending on how technical you are - you can get all of it for free if you really try. But please remember I do make a living this way, so if you like what you hear I'd certainly appreciate you throwing a little payment or donation my way. If you can't afford it, for goodness sake please send copies of everything to all of your friends.


sounds to me like he'd prefer if you pay but doesn't care unless he thinks he can grab some free publicity and a settlement. he strikes me less as an artist and more as a whore who will do you for free if you're broke but cry "rape" if he thinks he can get something out of it.
 
2013-01-19 02:16:49 AM  

Bubblegum Tate: Lsherm: Meh.   He ripped off Dynamite Hack.

I love that cover. i'd never seen the music video. Was not disappointed


Yeah, and that was late 90's ripoff of early 90's "gangsta."
 
2013-01-19 02:19:21 AM  

stonelotus: The JoCo Primer - Getting Music
There are lots of ways to get music from me, whether you're a cyborg from the future with an iPod in your skull, or a little old granny in Idaho with nothing but an antique "CD Player." Lots of it is freely available depending on how technical you are - you can get all of it for free if you really try. But please remember I do make a living this way, so if you like what you hear I'd certainly appreciate you throwing a little payment or donation my way. If you can't afford it, for goodness sake please send copies of everything to all of your friends.

sounds to me like he'd prefer if you pay but doesn't care unless he thinks he can grab some free publicity and a settlement. he strikes me less as an artist and more as a whore who will do you for free if you're broke but cry "rape" if he thinks he can get something out of it.


More like he'll do you for free, but he would want a cut if your gonna film it and sell the tape.
 
2013-01-19 04:28:11 AM  

Supes: Malcolm_Sex: I don't think I can imagine something funnier than a guy crying about the artistic integrity of his "Baby got back" cover.

But it is an awesome cover.


Never heard of this guy or his cover before. Huh.

It sounds like he ripped off the melody of "Leaving On A Jet Plane," which John Denver wrote and the Carpenters recorded.
 
Displayed 50 of 106 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter






In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report