Rob, my co-worker, published this piece earlier tonight on his Facebook fan page regarding the recent airing of an episode of Glee, in which one of the songs featured was a blatant rip of an original song posted online by musician Jonathan Coulton. This is a copy/paste of his post;
I usually post dumb jokes here, but tonight I want to talk seriously about “Glee” (the show on Fox) and how much of a horrid pile of shit it is. I’m not a fan of the show. Maybe some people are. Whatever, that’s fine. Whether you like Glee or not, you should be aware of this.
Tonight an episode of Glee aired in which the writers shamelessly copied, note for note, Jonathan Coulton’s fantastic acoustic guitar cover of ‘Baby Got Back’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCWaN_Tc5wo ). They didn’t ask him or credit him. Fox, one of the biggest TV networks, found this cool thing on the Internet and just went “Yeah, let’s use that!”
Here’s an article: http://www.buddytv.com/articles/glee/glee-roundup-baby-got-back-sca-48991.aspx
This doesn’t just annoy me as a Jonathan Coulton fan. It pisses me off to my core because, like Mr. Coulton, I am an independent Internet creator type, and this kind of blatant theft happens pretty frequently. And, more often than not, there’s nothing the creator can do about it. Big studios have big legal teams.
I’m mostly just venting here, but hopefully reading this will leave some kind of impact on you folks, as consumers of both independent and big studio content. As viewers, please don’t let this kind of thing slide. If you already hated Glee, now you can hate it for more reasons and spread the word. If you love Glee, now you’re aware that it’s run by spineless thieves.
That is all. Your daily butt jokes will resume tomorrow. Also, check out Jonathan Coulton’s music. It’s good stuff.
True words. TV networks seem to think they can get away with this practice of plucking ideas from the internet and passing it off as their own, simply treating the internet as some sort of ‘second class’ entertainment medium because it is not an established one. Internet entertainment IS a fledgling industry, after all, and one that most old farts in TV land are having trouble wrapping their heads around. Therefore, they seem fit to treat it - and every creative on it - like a child who should feel honored to be ripped off by the ‘big TV boys.’
From acts like this, it seems clear that folk in TV land feel like they can rip off original online content without giving any credit whatsoever (whether creative or monetary) to the original creator, and cheaply pass it all off as ‘parody’ without having to give anyone a dime. There is a hideous, old-fashioned sense of arrogance at play here, combined with a deep sense of insecurity. This is something that is worth addressing and pointing out in itself.
Don’t take this lazy, shady, shoddy practice from TV networks anymore. Times are changing, TV is slowly dying. They know it too, and that’s why we now have real-life scenarios like this. Mark these words my friends, times are indeed changing.