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Hypable reader Rose wrote to us about a tweet she saw from Jonathan Coulton – a singer who she’s a big fan of. The artist is calling out Glee for copying his cover of “Baby Got Back,” which is set to appear in the January 24th episode.

Coulton (affectionately known as JoCo by his fans) did a cover of the song with his own original arrangement back in 2005. If you compare his cover VS the Glee cover, you’ll see the striking similarities.

Glee’s “Baby Got Back”

JoCo’s “Baby Got Back”

JoCo took to Twitter to complain about the rip off:


There is zero doubt that Glee’s cover is the exact same version of Coulton’s cover. The main question is: Why did Glee not reach out to Coulton? Did they try, and the message was simply undiscovered by Coulton?

Rose describes JoCo as “the ultimate Geek musician.” Be sure to support him by checking out his official site where he calls this incident “weird and exciting.” We’ll keep you updated.

  • yvette

    i played both songs at the same time.. its the same track/song except for vocals..

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.r.bailey Richard Bailey

    Undoubtedly the exact same copy except for vocals.

  • Sara Patterson

    Didn’t they do the same thing with “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”? They used Greg Laswell’s cover and never credited or contacted him.

    • FTLTom

      Yup, the exact same thing. Good memory.

      • Bruce

        What’s new? Glee also did TV Carpio’s slowed-down version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand from the film Across the Universe–and nobody said a thing. I didn’t know you needed “permission” to cop an arrangement, but I suppose it would be good form at least to credit it. I also recall Adam Lambert on American Idol ripped off Houston singer Dilana’s brilliant spin on Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire from Rock Star Supernova and didn’t credit her, to my knowledge.

        • http://www.facebook.com/oboeman Josh Krotchko

          You definitely need permission. Covers are copyrighted just as much as originals. The only difference is that the covers have to pay the originals.

    • http://hypable.com John Thrasher

      Yes, and eventually Greg Laswell came around and thanked them for the exposure. No one has ever heard of this guy before now.

      • http://www.korracast.com/ Fravit

        Wow, seriously? Are you implying that if you have your work stolen you should be THANKING the thieves? And who are you referring to, Laswell or Coulton? Because Coulton is HUGE online, mostly thanks to Portal. A lot of people have heard of him.

  • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

    Those are clearly the same song, that’s insane.

  • Brian Smith

    FOX should fix this by putting JoCo on an episode of GLEE as himself.

  • http://twitter.com/shanoreily shanoreily

    Take look at Glee’s music producer Alex Anders’s twitter https://twitter.com/alxanders/status/292372011903234048

    Alex Anders ‏@alxanders
    Some people can’t see opportunity when it smacks them in the face.

    • Violet

      It’s not opportunity if you do not and never planned to give credit to your source, that’s just stealing.

  • Bow_to_death

    This, unfortunately, was not a triumph.

  • Violet

    If you love the theme from Portal JoCo is the guy who wrote it!!!

  • Ev42

    Wow, dick move, Glee…

  • http://twitter.com/Merina2 Merina

    I’m making a note here: Huge Fail, Glee!

  • rabbit

    I’m not usually one to cry lawsuit…but SUE THEM!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/TrueKlainer21 InASteamyCar

    I don’t think it should matter.. It’s over a done with. And if this dude is gonna sue or whatever, that’s equally non-classy :(

    • Stagegirl12

      It also tells Glee that they can do it and get away with it which is not a good message to send. It is not fair to Coulton to get no credit for his work and this is a blatant rip-off. Glee needs to learn its place and discover it is not everything.

    • Joshua Redwine

      Yeah, justice is way over-rated.

      Glee pulls these kind of cruel shenanigans on musicians who don’t have the resources to compete with FOX’s lawyers, because they know more than likely they will get away with it. When a corporate enterprise takes your artistry and profits from it without your consent or reimbursement it’s reprehensible (even if it’s legal).

      This isn’t necessarily bad news for Coulton if enough people hear he was the one who originally composed the cover. But the producer’s suggestion that this is simply an opportunity is farcical. Considering the Glee production team have pulled this same trick before, I have a hard time believing they ever intended to credit him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

      I wouldn’t think it’s non-classy at all. What do you want him to do, just sit back and take it? While Glee gets away with copyright fraud again and again?

    • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

      I get that lawsuits are unpleasant, but, like getting vaccines or colonoscopies, sometimes they are necessary. In this case Fox stands to profit from Joco’s work. It is right of him to explore his legal options.

  • http://twitter.com/Red_Fiasco Cris

    This kind of thing would get me expelled from my high school. Glad to see it’s encouraged in the real world. Wow, Glee. Wow.

  • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

    Thank you FOX, for giving me more reasons not to watch your show anymore. It makes it so much easier.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

    Opportunity for what? For them to get away with copyright fraud?

    Fox is just one big joke after another.

  • http://twitter.com/dickensmw Mary Warren Dickens

    I would’ve rather heard a legit cover of Sir-Mix-a-Lot’s original version. That would’ve have been so much more awesome! Especially if they added the opening dialogue.

  • noisyhearts

    when you see the likes of john green, ze frank, amanda palmer, wil wheton, mashable.com, the av club and the nerdist guys backing up Coulton, maybe it’s time to realise that your narrow minded, mainstream-centric view of music isn’t the only one out there, Glee. it’s absolutely crazy that they’re trying to pass this off as original.

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