Did "Glee" rip off a tongue-in-cheek cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" without the permission of the musician who originally arranged it, Jonathan Coulton?
Coulton, a singer/songwriter best known for his self-released songs about computer and geek culture, tweeted this morning:
— Jonathan Coulton (@jonathancoulton) January 18, 2013
Indeed, the version recorded for "Glee" is a nearly identical arrangement, performed by the characters from the Fox musical. Coulton also tweeted that he suspected that "Glee" even used original audio from his recording.
WATCH: Coulton's version.
WATCH: "Glee"'s version.
Despite the clear similarity between the songs, the "Glee" version appears to be an unofficial leak, so its release as a commercial piece of work cannot be confirmed. According to an unofficial "Glee" fan site, the song is intended to be included in the 11th episode of the season, set to air on January 24. However, no official statement from Fox has confirmed that the song will definitely appear in the episode, nor is it currently officially set to appear on a "Glee" musical release. (An email to a Fox spokesperson was not immediately returned.)
Coulton has developed a reputation as an fan-friendly artist, releasing his music under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. This allows his fans to remix his music without fear of legal retribution, but (presumably) does not protect a company like News Corp from profiting off his intellectual property.