Thursday, February 07, 2013

Plagiarism: not illegal, apparently

Years ago, Jonathan Coulton, an indie musician who has plenty of fans in our household, (took a moment out of his busy schedule to give Daughter a big hug and pose for a pic with her at Ohayocon once!) released a soft rock version of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back". He got the proper permissions and paid the proper royalties. Last week, Fox's show Glee featured the same song on their episode Sadie Hawkins Day. Contacted, did paperwork, and made financial arrangements with Mix. But USED Coulton's unique mix. No acknowledgement in the credits, no payment to Coulton, and they didn't ask permission. Some muckety-muck on the Fox/Glee end contacted Coulton to tell him that they were on solid legal ground, and besides, Coulton should be thankful for the exposure this is giving him. Except, without publicly crediting him, how, precisely, can that be called "exposure"? Here is the post I wrote, and here's a link to Jonathan Coulton's web site. Kind of wiped out right now, but if I can manage it, I'll add a bit more explanation and links to some of the better articles I've seen on this matter.

Plagiarism vs. Copyright Infringement

Copyright should protect artists like Jonathan Coulton, not Glee & Fox

Jonathan Coulton Explains How Glee Ripped Off His Cover Song — And Why He’s Not Alone

Jonathan Coulton ‘Covers’ Glee’s Ripoff of ‘Baby Got Back,’ Puts It on iTunes, Proceeds Go to Charity


  1. DEAN said it without plagiarising!

    That's complete fabrication on the part of Fox! A friend of mine has several good albums and any time one of her tunes has been "borrowed" by a TV show, she has received a sweet royalty check. Just a 30 second clip played in the background yields a couple thousand dollars!

    If I'm not mistaken, the first time it was possible her agent checked in with her, and with her okay just sends her the checks as needed now.

  2. I decided this was important enough to carry over to the new thread:

    puddle 2/07/2013 08:48:00 AM

    Sweet! Got a full night of GOOD sleep, only waking every now and again to note that I was in no pain at all. Could sleep on either side, and legs in any position. After surgery last year, I got 450ml of Roxicet. I still have 150ml. Dose is 5ml/four hours, and that's a very accurate estimate. Thank you all for all the love and concern: it does help!

    1. I'm heartglad you got some respite last night...even if it's induced.

  3. That's interesting: didn't feel the least bit induced, lol! More like permitted or allowed. Took away enough of the pain that the body, which had been wanting badly to sleep, did.

    1. Sounds like the perfect dose, then! That is so good.