Via: AV Club
Glee has never been shy about borrowing unique arrangements for their covers. The very first episode basically lifted Pedra Haden’s cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” wholesale. And I think I pretty much marked out to hear Greg Laswell’s genius version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” used on the show (even if it couldn’t really compare to the original…well, the original cover of the original. Coverception?). The thing is, from all appearances, Ryan Murphy went through the proper channels and received clearance to use those arrangements, compensating the artists who reinterpreted them.
This, apparently, was not the case with the show’s recent cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”. The folksy, melodic cover is used in the “Sadie Hawkins” episode airing on Jan 24, but the song has already leaked, prompting singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton to tweet that the show lifted his legally-licensed 2005 arrangement of the song without contacting, compensating, or crediting him in any way.
Glee producers have yet to comment on the controversy, but you can check out the similarities yourself below. Particularly damning is the Glee version using Coulton’s lyric change, “Johnny C’s in trouble” in exchange for “Mix-a-Lot’s in trouble”. While Coulton will get a decent bit of publicity for his music off of this, I would imagine he’s looking to actually get paid. This, of course, embraces the irony of a man demanding credit for his cover of someone else’s work, right or wrong.