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(Kotaku)   Last night's Glee aired song ripped off from Jonathan Coulton intact   (kotaku.com) divider line 245
    More: Followup, Jonathan Coulton, Glee cast, Baby Got Back, social death  
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12261 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jan 2013 at 11:07 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-25 10:16:29 AM
A shiatty TV show behaving in a shiatty way by ripping off a shiatty cover of a shiatty song?  Yup, sounds about right.
 
2013-01-25 10:33:55 AM
That show still on? How old are those people now?
 
2013-01-25 10:42:30 AM

Coco LaFemme: a shiatty cover


www.exchristian.net
 
2013-01-25 10:47:05 AM
I haven't followed this since the initial rageburst. Has he been in contact with them? Does he care?
 
2013-01-25 10:47:12 AM
I can't help but find it a little ironic that a hero of the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Cory Doctorow set is initiating a copyright dispute.  Not to mention that the source originated from a major record label.  Coulton's in the right and probably has a case, but it's still pretty funny.  I'm sure there will be plenty of Internet vs. Old Media fueling this with a touch of hipster anti-Glee snobbery.
 
2013-01-25 10:52:12 AM
it is kind of amazing that they had the balls to leave the "johnny c" lyric change in their version.
 
2013-01-25 11:12:07 AM

Lumpmoose: I can't help but find it a little ironic that a hero of the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Cory Doctorow set is initiating a copyright dispute.  Not to mention that the source originated from a major record label.  Coulton's in the right and probably has a case, but it's still pretty funny.  I'm sure there will be plenty of Internet vs. Old Media fueling this with a touch of hipster anti-Glee snobbery.


He modified the lyrics, AND he wrote an original melody for it. Plus, the CC license he uses specifically restricts commercial use.

See the problem yet?
 
2013-01-25 11:12:47 AM

thomps: it is kind of amazing that they had the balls to leave the "johnny c" lyric change in their version.


Not so much 'balls' as 'just plain to stupid to notice.'
 
2013-01-25 11:13:09 AM
Please tell me it was "First of May"...

No? Whatever. Now I'll still have no idea what a Glee is.
 
2013-01-25 11:13:49 AM

unlikely: haven't followed this since the initial rageburst. Has he been in contact with them? Does he care?


He has a blogpost about it at his website (pops)
 
2013-01-25 11:14:04 AM
I've never watched the show so I may be off here, but isn't EVERY song that they do a cover?
 
2013-01-25 11:14:23 AM
Whether or not you like the music, this version was not really a cover. It was an original musical composition that happens to fit with the lyrics of Baby Got Back. As such, it has multiple copyrights. One for the lyrics, which belongs to the original artist, and one for the music, which belongs to JoCo.

Which is why it wasn't released under the CC/NC license.

Fox blatantly stole his music, and as such is now liable for damages.

I've heard the argument that it would make Jonathan Coulton more famous with a non-internet audience and so he should be grateful. But without attribution, how is that supposed to happen? We know who he is, but if Fox didn't give him credit, then Glee fans have no way of knowing.

JC should lawyer up and get some of that sweet, sweet Fox cash.
 
2013-01-25 11:14:34 AM

thomps: it is kind of amazing that they had the balls to leave the "johnny c" lyric change in their version.


Exactly what I heard from a discussion on Sunday night. Evidently, the producers just cover what they want and wait to see if someone shows up looking for royalties. In this case, because it was a cover of a cover, it's Coulton's arrangement that is in question.
 
2013-01-25 11:15:33 AM
Yeah, that was pretty shameless.
 
2013-01-25 11:15:57 AM
Basically the show's producers have told him he should be grateful for the exposure, and that they don't owe him a dime.

I hated Glee to begin with, but now it burns.
 
2013-01-25 11:18:02 AM

sasbazooka: unlikely: haven't followed this since the initial rageburst. Has he been in contact with them? Does he care?

He has a blogpost about it at his website (pops)


Ahh. I rescind my question on the matter. Thanks Sasbazooka!
 
2013-01-25 11:18:41 AM
Is there a version of Jonh that is not intact?
 
2013-01-25 11:18:47 AM
Lumpmoose: "I can't help but find it a little ironic that a hero of the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Cory Doctorow set is initiating a copyright dispute."

Is he? Last I heard his reaction had petered-out to basically just calling them dicks.
He doesn't have a leg to stand on unless they actually sampled his recording.

Also, the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Doctorow set is pretty huge on attribution and takes a pretty dim view of commercializing derivatives.
Maybe you misunderstood their position as "digital free-for-all". But it ain't. It's more like "let the fans do their thing."
 
2013-01-25 11:20:18 AM
Who farking cares?
 
2013-01-25 11:22:00 AM
oldnewsissoexciting.png
 
2013-01-25 11:23:46 AM

madcan34: Who farking cares?


well, the glee version is available for purchase on itunes right now, so presumably anyone with a claim to the royalties from that would have reason to care.
 
2013-01-25 11:24:42 AM

ringersol: Lumpmoose: "I can't help but find it a little ironic that a hero of the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Cory Doctorow set is initiating a copyright dispute."

Is he? Last I heard his reaction had petered-out to basically just calling them dicks.
He doesn't have a leg to stand on unless they actually sampled his recording.

Also, the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Doctorow set is pretty huge on attribution and takes a pretty dim view of commercializing derivatives.
Maybe you misunderstood their position as "digital free-for-all". But it ain't. It's more like "let the fans do their thing."


The music (melody/chord progression combination) is entirely Coulton's. There's the copyright issue right there.
 
2013-01-25 11:25:44 AM

sasbazooka: Basically the show's producers have told him he should be grateful for the exposure, and that they don't owe him a dime.

I hated Glee to begin with, but now it burns.


Don't forget if a musician will not allow Glee to use their music, the musician must hate gays.
 
2013-01-25 11:25:56 AM

Lumpmoose: I can't help but find it a little ironic that a hero of the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Cory Doctorow set is initiating a copyright dispute.  Not to mention that the source originated from a major record label.  Coulton's in the right and probably has a case, but it's still pretty funny.  I'm sure there will be plenty of Internet vs. Old Media fueling this with a touch of hipster anti-Glee snobbery.


You're missing the point. It's about attribution.
 
2013-01-25 11:25:57 AM
Kyosuke: "See the problem yet?"

CC takes a back seat to copyright. CC can grant rights that don't exist by default under copyright law, but it can't *take away* default rights.
So, for the same reason Coulton could do his cover (even commercially) without Mix-A-Lot's permission, Glee can do their cover of Coulton's without his blessing.

CC simply extends the default copyright situation to say "By releasing under this license, I couldn't sue my fans for using these *exact* recording in videos or performance art or what-the-fark ever non-commerical use, even if I later change my mind or sell out to some label that's a pack of assholes. You're all safe to do your (noncommercial) thing."
 
2013-01-25 11:26:03 AM
side by side comparison ... I'm not too sure if they did copy JC's version. I mean Glee had like 2 different words in theirs.
 
2013-01-25 11:28:26 AM
Am I the only Farker going on the cruise?

That can't possibly be.

CSB: When DaVinci's Notebook was still a thing, Paul left to find a real job, and I was his replacement. Practiced for a couple of months. Sang exactly one concert before Paul decided he was coming back. And now, Paul and Storm are going to be on the cruise and I'm going to see them for the first time in over ten years. Should be cool/weird.
 
2013-01-25 11:28:43 AM
Nuke the show from orbit just to be fair.
 
2013-01-25 11:29:59 AM

madcan34: Who farking cares?


Your mom cares.
 
2013-01-25 11:30:09 AM

Kyosuke: Lumpmoose: I can't help but find it a little ironic that a hero of the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Cory Doctorow set is initiating a copyright dispute.  Not to mention that the source originated from a major record label.  Coulton's in the right and probably has a case, but it's still pretty funny.  I'm sure there will be plenty of Internet vs. Old Media fueling this with a touch of hipster anti-Glee snobbery.

He modified the lyrics, AND he wrote an original melody for it. Plus, the CC license he uses specifically restricts commercial use.


Inserting "Johnnie C" instead of "Mix-a-lot" and replacing "fark" with a quack are inconsequential changes, insufficient to give him a copyright interest in the lyrics.
 
2013-01-25 11:30:34 AM

Kyosuke: thomps: it is kind of amazing that they had the balls to leave the "johnny c" lyric change in their version.

Not so much 'balls' as 'just plain to stupid to notice.'


That's the most interesting part to me, that apparently not one single person on the show looked at the lyrics and questioned, "Who the hell is johnny c?" or "Why don't we take 2 seconds to simply change this one line?" Even essay-plagarizing college students aren't this lazy.
 
2013-01-25 11:31:05 AM
If you're Fox you don't have to rip off John Coulton. He'd be pretty cheap compared to lawyers.

Or is the problem here the Sir Mix-a-Lot connection?
 
2013-01-25 11:31:35 AM
Hope he gets paid. He seems like a cool dude.
 
2013-01-25 11:31:38 AM
Kyosuke: "The music (melody/chord progression combination) is entirely Coulton's. There's the copyright issue right there."

No, there isn't. There's a compulsory mechanical license in copyright law. There's a bigger risk of a copyright issue when you *change* the melody/composition in doing a cover, than by keeping it the same. You can change to fit your particular milieu, but changing too much runs the risk of turning the thing into more of a derivative work, for which you'd need additional (non-compulsory) rights from the musician(s)/song-writer(s), etc.
 
2013-01-25 11:33:44 AM
The issue extends to more than just using Coulton's melody. From the looks (sounds) of it, they literally used Coulton's music track, posted on his website, and just sang over it. That is, Glee didn't "cover" Coulton's song (they didn't freshly record the track using a different band), Glee took the karaoke version of the track from his website and just sang over it.
 
2013-01-25 11:33:47 AM

ringersol: He doesn't have a leg to stand on unless they actually sampled his recording.


ASCAP and BMI would disagree. They've gone after people for far less blatant thievery.
 
DGS [TotalFark]
2013-01-25 11:33:55 AM

Deucednuisance: Am I the only Farker going on the cruise?

That can't possibly be.

CSB: When DaVinci's Notebook was still a thing, Paul left to find a real job, and I was his replacement. Practiced for a couple of months. Sang exactly one concert before Paul decided he was coming back. And now, Paul and Storm are going to be on the cruise and I'm going to see them for the first time in over ten years. Should be cool/weird.


... whoa, really?
 
2013-01-25 11:35:08 AM

Lumpmoose: I can't help but find it a little ironic that a hero of the Creative Commons/Free Internet Love/Cory Doctorow set is initiating a copyright dispute.  Not to mention that the source originated from a major record label.  Coulton's in the right and probably has a case, but it's still pretty funny.  I'm sure there will be plenty of Internet vs. Old Media fueling this with a touch of hipster anti-Glee snobbery.


How is it hipstery to dislike an intensely mediocre show? It's basically a slightly goofy soap opera with some autotuned singing at the end of the episode.

/I have my own mediocre shows that I'm watching right now, like Fringe, where the writers don't seem to understand science.
 
2013-01-25 11:36:17 AM

ringersol: Kyosuke: "See the problem yet?"

CC takes a back seat to copyright. CC can grant rights that don't exist by default under copyright law, but it can't *take away* default rights.
So, for the same reason Coulton could do his cover (even commercially) without Mix-A-Lot's permission, Glee can do their cover of Coulton's without his blessing.

CC simply extends the default copyright situation to say "By releasing under this license, I couldn't sue my fans for using these *exact* recording in videos or performance art or what-the-fark ever non-commerical use, even if I later change my mind or sell out to some label that's a pack of assholes. You're all safe to do your (noncommercial) thing."


Coulton got permission from the Harry Fox Agency. His version, whose melody and arrangement are original, is not under Creative Commons.
 
2013-01-25 11:37:31 AM
For a moment, I thoughtI was listening to Peter, Paul and Mary covering John Denver.
 
2013-01-25 11:39:01 AM

madcan34: Who farking cares?


People who acknowledge that stealing is bad.
 
2013-01-25 11:39:31 AM
This was a triumph.
 
2013-01-25 11:39:53 AM

ringersol: There's a compulsory mechanical license in copyright law.


Indeed, there is. But let it be said that there is no definitive case law laying out what the line between "cover" and "derivative work" is. It's very much a battle of expert witnesses with a big dollop of "I know it when I see it".

And after 23 years as a Licensing Examiner for the US Copyright Office, I can tell you that there are no bigger [insert derogatory plural noun of your choice] on the planet about this than Prince and the Estate of Jimi Hendrix. I could tell stories, I really could. But they are litigious folks, so I won't.
 
2013-01-25 11:39:56 AM

lelio: side by side comparison ... I'm not too sure if they did copy JC's version. I mean Glee had like 2 different words in theirs.


That... is pretty damming.
 
2013-01-25 11:40:07 AM
browntimmy: "Apparently not one single person on the show looked at the lyrics and questioned, "Who the hell is johnny c?""

I get this feeling everyone involved knew exactly where it came from and long ago learned to turn a blind eye to "whether we're paying people what we're supposed to." Because the producers aren't going to tell *them* the truth anyway and asking questions is just going to get your ass fired.

And in the end, this whole thing could be like Coolio's response to Weird Al's "Gangster's Paradise" cover. It seems unlikely, but it is entirely possible that Coulton/Glee had some arrangement and he's either negotiating in public for a change, or he feels the agreement was violated, or he's simply trying to reap the PR/exposure reward while still protecting his image. Only Coulton and Glee's producers would know the real truth and neither really has a financial incentive to be honest.

Again: I'm doubtful that's the case.
I'm just saying it could be, we can't actually *know* and it wouldn't be the first time these sorts of things have happened.
 
2013-01-25 11:40:09 AM

madcan34: Who farking cares?


only the neglected Entertainment column a few to the right, feeling left out and lonely.
 
2013-01-25 11:40:51 AM
Why, oh why did it have to be a hipster?
 
2013-01-25 11:41:18 AM
I would watch Glee with the sound off, but it's way easier to just surf for pics of the hot chicks on that show.
 
2013-01-25 11:41:38 AM
So, everyone paid for their copies of Coulton songs, yes?
 
2013-01-25 11:42:13 AM
Hated glee since the beginning
really hated them when they started butchering songs I actually liked and their shiatty versions started cropping up everywhere
now that they're farking over JoCo, we're approaching vendetta level.
 
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