'Glee' accused of ripping off 'Baby Got Back' cover
UPI News Service, 01/27/2013
Indie singer Jonathan Coulton says a recent episode of Fox's "Glee" used his version of Sir Mix-A-Lot's rap hit "Baby Got Back," without first informing him.
The episode in which Glee's alleged rip-off of Coulton's cover aired Thursday night, CNN reported.
Coulton, who arranged the melody of the cover song, alleged "Glee" used his version without informing him and that he wasn't given any credit or compensation for having. He further stated in a blog post that Fox Broadcasting representatives told Coulton's representatives that "they're within their legal rights to do this, and that I should be happy for the exposure."
"Even though they do not credit me, and have not even publicly acknowledged that it's my version -- so you know, it's kind of SECRET exposure," Coulton said.
Kevin Parks, a copyright attorney with the Leydig law firm in Chicago who does not represent any party involved in the incident, said the rights to "Baby Got Back" actually belong to Anthony L. Ray, also known as Sir Mix-A-Lot, and his music publisher, Universal, who have apparently given proper licenses to Fox and Glee.
However, "If 'Glee' used parts of Coulton's actual recording, there would be a copyright claim for him to pursue," Parks said. "If not, Coulton's gripe may have moral weight, but not the force of law."
"Hilariously, for me, it comes down to the sound of a duck quacking, which is a sound effect that was in my version, used as a bleep noise to cover up an expletive," Coulton said. "While it is very hard to hear, if I at home mess with the equalizer settings and some filters, I can actually hear that quack is in that mix."