Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Baby's Got Back Attack: Glee v. Coulton in Court of Public Opinons

"I like big butts and I cannot lie . . ."
I like Big Butts, especially when I'm watching Glee*

With lyricism like that, you would think Sir Mix-a-lot's rap anthem of the 1980s would have been safe from a copying dispute.  But alas, it seems that such poetry is in much demand.

So much so that Johnathan Coulton released a new version, sampling from the original Mix-a-lot recording.

So much so that Fox's popular show Glee ripped off the Coulton version, deleted his vocals, added its own track, and aired it as part of its January 24 show.

So much so that Coulton then ripped off the Glee version and his fans inundated Itunes with 1-star ratings for the Glee version, driving it down the Itunes charts.

Coulton recorded a "folksier" version of the rap classic testifying to the benefits of the booty.  He changed the lyrics a bit, too.  He was within his legal rights.  And apparently so Fax when it utilized Coulton's version as the basis for the Glee performance without permission or credit.

Despite lawyer letters flying, Fox went forward with the January 24 "Sadie Hawkins" program without crediting or paying Coulton.

But sometimes the best remedy isn't in Court.  Coulton used his presence on the internet to activate his fan base.  Coulton's legions stormed Itunes to skewer the Glee song with 1-star ratings, as Coulton's re-released version jumped up on the charts.

*photo credit: <a href="">Andrew Holzschuh</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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