The most recent episode of Glee featured a cool acoustic cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” Too bad Jonathan Coulton had already released exactly the same arrangement in 2005. One Hypable author explains why Glee is in the wrong.

In 2005, Jonathan Coulton bought the statutory license to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” and sold a cover version featuring his own arrangement. In 2013, Glee also decided to cover “Baby Got Back” in a wonderfully creative way – by which I mean its arrangement was identical to Coulton’s. Coulton tweeted that Glee never asked him for permission, Glee didn’t care, and the Internet exploded.

So is ‘Glee’ in the right, or in the wrong?

Legally it has done nothing wrong. Glee is not required by law to credit Mr. Coulton, who did not write the original song. The show is well within its rights to spend hours and hours searching through various YouTube covers and ripping them off, rather than say, hiring someone to create original arrangements. Of course, if it has used direct samples from Coulton’s recording, there may be grounds for a legal complaint.

”jonathanRecently Coulton stated that the Glee producers had contacted him, saying:

They also got in touch with my peeps to basically say 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 has a point (in fact, Coulton’s point is also my point). When Glee covers the original version of a song (e.g. fun.’s “We Are Young”), the band picks up exposure. This is because when I google the lyrics, I’ll see that this song was originally sung a band called fun. This might inspire me to check out (and purchase) fun.’s original version, or its album.

The problem that arises when Glee uses a cover version is painfully obvious. If I had googled “Baby got back lyrics” (prior to this fiasco), I’d see that this was a 1992 rap single by Sir Mix-A-Lot. If I had never heard Jonathan Coulton’s version (which I hadn’t), I’d probably think that Glee had thought up this new, highly original cover on its own. I’d probably be impressed. If I liked the song, I might even buy the Glee version.

So when Glee says Coulton will be getting exposure from this, let’s be clear: that’s complete rubbish. Unless he had called them out in the way he did, most of us would have been none the wiser.

What should ‘Glee’ have done differently?

jonathan coulton baby got back glee
Glee could have credited Coulton as a good will gesture to independent artists (and it still wouldn’t have had to pay him a cent). Hell, Glee could have just given him a heads up that it was planning on using it, which just seems like common courtesy and a smart PR move. It’s so disheartening that in this day and age, we don’t even expect large companies to do this. We know at the end of the day, it’s all a business, and it is all about money. But wouldn’t it be nice if they did.

Giving the arranger some love would also be ridiculously easy. Send a tweet from the official Glee Twitter linking back to the original arranger, or take five seconds to mention them in one of the many behind-the-scenes videos it drops on us each episode. As I said before – the show still wouldn’t owe Coulton any money, but it seems like the most decent way to handle the situation.

Glee itself has even set a precedent for this, as seen through its promotion of The ‘Real’ Warblers played by Tufts University Beelzebubs (who arranged and sang the majority of The Warblers’ songs), and the featuring of 2CELLOS on an episode of Glee performing their own signature version of “Smooth Criminal.” So it’s not that Glee can’t credit the arranger, it’s that it generally chooses not to.

“If this were an episode of Glee I would win. The way they’re behaving is so antithetical to the message of their show” – Jonathan Coulton


 

It’s especially frustrating in this case because Coulton’s arrangement was so far from the original, which featured next to no melody. If he hadn’t used the same lyrics, he probably could have released it as an original song.

When Glee covers fun., or Rihanna, or Madonna, I can very easily find out for myself who originally wrote that song. I don’t expect a list of credits to run at the end of every episode. But if it wants to rip off someone else’s arrangement note-for-note, I’d like to know who arranged it, please. Otherwise here’s a tip: employ your own arranger, there are plenty looking for work.

Basically Glee is the jerk in your class who listens to all of your great ideas, then writes them in his own essay and gets an A+. Technically, he’s done nothing wrong, but trust me when I say: no one likes that guy.

So ‘Glee,’ stop being a jerk just because you can

Note: Jonathan Coulton is not the only arranger to have been reluctantly featured on Glee. In fact, it happens more often than not, see Pedra Haden’s cover of “Don’t Stop Believing” and Greg Laswell’s arrangement of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” For more, check out this interview with Coulton, and this list.

And never fear, nice guys still exist. If you buy Coulton’s version of “Baby Got Back” before the end of February, all profits will be donated to The VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and The It Gets Better Project.

Images: Dale May, Fox

The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Read full article

The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Unfortunately, del Toro did not get the answer we were hoping for.

However, there is hope for fans of the comics, as artist and creator Mike Mignola reminded us that just because del Toro isn’t going to be involved anymore, it doesn’t mean there won’t be future Hellboy movies. There’s always hope.

This is good news for those who perhaps didn’t like del Toro’s take on the character. It hints at a possible reboot of the franchise, but if that were to happen, don’t expect Ron Perlman to reprise his role.

For those who fell in love with Perlman’s interpretation of the titular character, this is certainly a blow. However, del Toro does wish the franchise luck, and it’s not like he’s hurting for work (he’s got Netflix’s Trollhunters, Pacific Rim 2, and The Shape of Water, to just name a few).

This tweet is certainly interesting, as it hints that he wanted to take Hellboy in a new direction, but his vision did not match the vision of the studio. Does this mean they’ve got another idea in mind already, and if so, will it be Hellboy III, or a Hellboy for a new generation?

With Ron Perlman out of the picture, it’s likely the studio may try to do a reboot, rather than replace the actor for a potential sequel. If there is a reboot, there could be resistance from fans, but with updated technology and someone else’s vision, we could be looking at an interesting new set of superhero movies that will still feel different from the blockbusters currently taking over cinemas.

Are you interested in a new ‘Hellboy’ franchise?

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

Read full article

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

The synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda reads, “Simon Spier is sixteen and in love. Sure, he has never met the mysterious ‘Blue’ in person, but he’s falling hard and fast for their email love letters. There’s only one problem: Blue is a boy, Simon is gay, and he hasn’t told anyone else.”

The novel made the world (and Hypable) fall in love with the story, and the current cast and creative team have fans excited for this adaptation. With Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment (The Maze Runner series, The Twilight Saga, and the upcoming Power Rangers) behind the scenes, it’s bound to be a big production.

How excited are you for ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’?

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Read full article

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Iwan Rheon is best known for his terrifying turn as Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He has starred in the British series Misfits and Vicious, and may never play a hero again in his life.

Marvel’s head of television Jeph Loeb, who also serves as an executive producer on Inhumans, suggests that those villainous skills will be well-deployed in the role of Maximus.

“Iwan’s ability to be charming, roguish, and still completely unexpectedly dangerous were all the different sides we needed to bring the character to life,” Loeb says. “We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Showrunner Scott Buck agrees.

“Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment,” he says, “And I’m very excited to have someone of Iwan’s considerable talent.”

Marvel’s Inhumans will be produced in partnership with IMAX. The first two episodes will screen in IMAX theaters before the show’s network debut in mid September. Spanning the course of eight episodes, the series will tell the story of the Inhuman royal family, with the associated drama that just happens when you’re a family of aliens with magical powers trying to rule a secret city.

A leaked cast list for Inhumans hinted at a complex lineup of characters, including Black Bolt’s wife Medusa and her sister Crystal. Karnak, as well as the three-legged horse Gorgon and amphibious Triton round out the eclectic cast. And with Iwan Rheon in place as Maximus, it seems like just a matter of time before the rest of the family falls into line.

What do you think of Iwan Rheon as Maximus in Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’?

Tags: inhumans, Marvel