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Some years ago, my pal Jonathan Coulton (I love being able to put those four words together) did a magnificent cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back".  The arrangement is... distinctive, especially contrasted with the original song.

Apparently, next Thursday, JoCo's exact same arrangement will show up in an episode of Glee.

Also apparently, they didn't ask JoCo.

This has been picked up by, oh, a few online news services:

(thanks to Janice, in comments at JoCo's page, for the list.)

Obviously, JoCo doesn't own the song -- but he does own the arrangement and the new melody, and that ownership is subject to protection by copyright.  If it were, oh, I don't know, me doing JoCo's version, and selling it for download or putting it on a CD, I'd, y'know, ask first, because JoCo's version has been in the wild for several years and it's pretty well known in geek circles, and because it's The Thing To Do.  At the absolute minimum, I'd mention the guy.

This is going on frickin' Glee.  Worldwide TV.  CDs.  DVDs.  Karaoke games.  It'd be nice to make sure the guy who came up with that arrangement and melody got some notoriety from it.

Not to mention cash.  This is Fox, after all.

On top of that, Glee is usually better about this -- witness when they got 2Cellos to come on the show to play their gone-viral cover of "Smooth Criminal".

So.  Big frustration.  Don't know how it's going to shake out yet, but I would suspect legal action, a very quick credit change, and a reasonably large check.

But only because JoCo is quite prominent on the Internet.

Less-well-known artists -- like me -- haven't got a lot of defense against this sort of thing.  We have fewer people to make a big stink for us.  Heck, I wonder how many Glee cast members have even heard of JoCo.

Let's just hope that Fox doesn't steamroll over this, and that JoCo gets both the money and notoriety he deserves for it.

(Expanded and modified from the original post at Dreamwidth)

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