It’s on. Computer programmer-turned-singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton has been fuming over what appears to be a blatant “Glee” rip-off of his 2005 cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s hit tune, “Baby Got Back.” The show aired the arrangement tonight.

Last week, after first getting wind of the cover, Coulton tweeted:

Fans backed him up:

That’s a reference to a tell-tale lyric in Coulton’s version. Wired reports:

“I assume [Glee] heard [my cover] and wanted to put it in their show. Which is flattering, but also an email would have been nice — just a hi, howya doin’ kind of thing,” Coulton told Wired by e-mail.

Coulton notes that the YouTube video was not an official Fox release of the song, but the track is currently for sale on the Swedish version of iTunes, as reported by Kotaku, where it appears to be offered from the official “Glee Cast” account. The song is reportedly slated for the Jan. 24 episode “Sadie Hawkins.” Wired reached out to a Fox representative, who said that they had no comment on the matter.

Coulton immediately posted the video on Twitter side-by-side with a link to his version of the 1992 hit single, and the resemblance was beyond uncanny, even simulating quirks like Coulton’s name drop of “Johnny C.” It was so close, in fact, that Coulton speculated that the same audio might have been used, and recruited his followers to help him analyze the track.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=f4koFg5uulg

Music fans confronted Alex Anders, music producer for the popular TV show, on Twitter after Coulton’s complaints:

Anders responded (and later deleted this tweet that was retweeted by many users):

https://twitter.com/Flirttana/status/292375441434632192

Coulton responded as well:

And more music fans/Glee viewers weighed in:

After Anders deleted his “opportunity” tweet, he posted this:

Yep:

https://twitter.com/Diabla_Cruz/status/293754278517018625

Coulton responded:

The #TeamCoulton movement is building as the public (and possibly legal) showdown heats up:

https://twitter.com/rora_borealis/status/294665095554932736

We’ll update with any further response from Anders or details from Coulton.

Until then, tuck away this takeaway lesson: Coulton has earned at least $500,000 from music download revenue, merchandise, and performances. Intellectual property rights do matter, even among left-leaning creative types and Internet geeks. Every creator deserves the fruits of his labor and deserves recourse when those fruits are shamelessly stolen without credit/attribution/linkage — from the Fox network or anyone else.

https://twitter.com/TheBloggess/status/294661659035848704

https://twitter.com/leo_nerd5/status/294668198509420544

  • Garth Haycock

    Let me see if I understand this. Some alleged musician is upset that the cast of a stupid tv show covered his cover of a rap song?

    • Finrod Felagund

      Imagine if someone copied Jimi Hendrix’s cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along The Watchtower, down to the guitar licks and everything, and refused to credit Jimi for it. Same idea.

    • John (it true me am)

      Considering the stupid TV show is one of the millions of liberal hypocrites who sue every other random person for copyright infringement for any and everything… This is a pretty big deal. If a video on youtube celebrating a fallen soldier at his funeral has a song barely audible playing in the background for a portion of it and the audio is disabled entirely for copyright infringement(really happened), then no, Glee can’t get away with blatantly ripping off Coulton.

      Also “alleged” musician? Coulton is great, he’s a legend in the video game community and well known around the internet in general. A billion times better than the lip syncing auto tune pop divas of mainstream music.

    • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

      I read that a couple of times and am still not sure. I’d be willing to bet that none of the people involved gave a crap that the federal government just sent a guy to prison for a parole violation, after arresting him in the middle of the night, over some of HIS “intellectual property”, all to cover the criminal negligence POTUS and Sec State of the US Ambassador to Libya being executed by Al Qaeda, in the late stages of a presidential campaign where the incumbent was touting his “killing” of Al Qaeda.

      “But at this point, what difference does it make?”

      • AndreaKlett

        Beautiful!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002109532283 Jillane Kent

      His music (proven, not alleged) is his property. To use the song, without permission or compensation is theft. If you were to download one too many Glee episodes, I am certain you would eventually get an MPAA call/threat. This should be no different.

  • Jake_Was_Here

    Just because Coulton releases all his work under a Creative Commons license instead of standard copyright, that doesn’t make it okay for Glee to waltz in and pilfer his intellectual property. He often makes no greater demand than that he receive some attribution for any further work derived from his own — and these thieving bastards couldn’t even give him that.

    • http://somercet.livejournal.com/ somercet

      I would go further, Jake. One version of the CC license requires attribution. Coulton’s release of some or all of his work under a Creative Commons license makes upholding that CC license absolutely essential, as so many others use it, too.

    • NonYaBidnes

      Don’t be silly. If he released it as Creative Commons, he as much as said, here you go, take it and use it as you will.
      That being said, it’s funny that he is complaining about the same thing he did. Took a work that he didn’t create, change it up and post it. The only difference between what he did and what Glee did was in the degree that it was changed.
      Besides, it’s it just music redistribution?

  • Lord Foggybottom

    I don’t understand why these people are so upset; Coulton is just spreading the wealth to other less creative types. Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing they voted for?

    • http://somercet.livejournal.com/ somercet

      You mean Anders is “spreading the wealth.” Only uncreative middle managers can properly redistribute wealth! Has Obama taught you nothing?!?

      • Lord Foggybottom

        No, I mean Coulton. He’s spreading the wealth whether he likes it or not, just like the rest of us producers.

  • traffic_robot

    Still awaiting Sir-Mix-A-Lot to weigh in on this matter. Hopefully he is too busy counting his money.

    Let’s be honest: Both covers are dreadful.

  • madian_kikyou

    Glee sucks to begin with, the fact they ripped someone off doesn’t surprise me at all.

  • Barack Hussein Sharpton

    First Barack Obama, then Lance Armstrong, then Manti Te’o, then Beyonce and now Glee.

    What is this world coming to?

    Everyone and everything are frauds.

  • Barack Hussein Sharpton

    First Barack Obama, then Lance Armstrong, then Manti Te’o, then Beyonce and now Glee.

    What is this world coming to?

    Everyone and everything are frauds.

  • Teresa Davis McCormick

    Glee sucks, the song sucks, with that being said, I think if he has legal recourse he should go for it. It’s obvious that they stole it.

  • Teresa Davis McCormick

    Glee sucks, the song sucks, with that being said, I think if he has legal recourse he should go for it. It’s obvious that they stole it.

  • Johnny_Layabout

    Wait, am I reading this correctly? Glee is still on the air?

  • Johnny_Layabout

    Wait, am I reading this correctly? Glee is still on the air?

  • http://www.facebook.com/reesagraham Reesa Graham
  • $129448

    Glee has ZERO original ideas, they have to steal other artists work