Jonathan Coulton Claims Glee Ripped Off His Song

In a recent Tweet, Brooklyn-based musician Jonathan Coulton claimed that the TV series Glee has ripped off his version of “Baby Got Back.” Coulton has not heard from Fox but has contacted his lawyers to investigate the issue.

If it is, I have some questions about how IP works in terms of this song. It’s a cover of a Sir Mix-a-Lot song obviously, but I wrote a new melody for it, which this recording uses. Back when I released it, I bought the statutory license to distribute my version of this song through Harry Fox. Creative Commons doesn’t come into play because it’s a cover song, and anyway my CC license specifies Non-Commercial.

A complicating factor is that, to my ears, it sounds like it actually uses the audio from my recording – not the vocals obviously, but the instruments sound EXTREMELY similar. And I could swear I hear the duck quack somewhere in the background there, though it’s hard to say if that’s just my ears expecting it.

Here’s Johnathan’s version of the song for comparison.

via Kotaku

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff