Jonathan Coulton Publicly Shames Fox For Copying His Arrangement In Glee
from the social-mores dept
We’ve talked about Jonathan Coulton and his embrace of the internet and new business models plenty on Techdirt — as well as his nuanced arguments concerning copyright infringement. He’s not “pro-piracy,” but recognizes that the overall growth of the internet that has resulted in more infringement has also created tremendously valuable tools and services that made his music career possible. Thus, recognizing that the two things go hand in hand, he notes that it’s better in the long run. So what does he do when someone infringes on his rights? Well, he goes public.
As some have noted, Coulton has called out Fox for apparently copying his arrangement of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” in the TV show Glee. You can see his version here:
In the end, though, almost none of that probably matters. Because Coulton seems unlikely (we hope) to go legal here. Instead, he’s just going with the public shame route — with a simple tweet about the situation, which has set off “the internet” to help him make his case and embarrass Fox and Glee.
Internet sleuths immediately went to work on the question, creating side-by-side comparisons of the audio (which are very convincing) and even unearthing an official Fox version of the as-yet-unreleased single in the Swedish iTunes store. While the track is not currently available in the American store, gaming blog Kotaku claims that it “was available earlier and was pulled by Fox.” Despite calls from Twitter and multiple media organizations, the network has yet to make a statement as of this afternoon, but, all things considered, it’s looking pretty bad for Glee.
Of course, as a public storm of support rises behind Coulton, it seems likely that Fox/Glee producers will step up, apologize and probably cut Coulton a check of some sort. All of that seems a lot more efficient — and it didn’t require copyright law at all. Just a bit of public shaming for a bad actor. Of course, just imagine if the situation had been reversed, and Coulton was caught making use of a News Corp.-owned song. In that case, you’d have to imagine that the cease and desist letters and lawyers would have popped up quite quickly….