Which is a bit of a shame, given that over the past week a lot of the social networking sites I visit have gone insane about this particular issue. Specifically, about whether copying the arrangement of a cover of a song is wrong if you have permission from the original artist to use it.
So here's the story. The show Glee, which I'm a huge fan of, used the song Baby Got Back in its last episode. But not the rappy Sir Mix-A-Lot version we're all so familiar with, instead they went with a soft ballad arrangement of the song. It's really quite beautiful ... at least for a song about a guy expressing his appreciation for voluminous rear ends.
The thing is, that particular arrangement was actually created by a singer called Jonathan Coulton who is, quite understandably, upset that his work was used without his permission, without financial compensation, and without any acknowledgement of it being his work. I mean, wouldn't you be? You created something, albeit a cover of a song, and then a huge TV company goes and just uses it without so much as a by your leave.
The problem, however, seems to be that JoCo doesn't actually have any legal recourse. He made a cover of a song, and when he bought his licence it was clearly stated that he couldn't copyright his modifications. It said so in the contract. That means that it's up for grabs to whoever else is willing to buy the licence. It's clear cut, Glee didn't do anything legally wrong.
But what about morally?
Would it really have been so hard to just let the guy know it was happening? To make sure when it was announced that credit was given to him for the arrangement? That's what all the JoCo fans are asking right now. Why didn't the people at Glee, who I'm sure know this copyright stuff backwards and forwards, give him the credit he was due? Were they even allowed to, or did their contract prohibit them from doing it for some reason?
We don't know, because Glee have refused to comment so far.
I'm finding it all very disturbing. As I said, I'm a huge fan of Glee. Hell, anything that's essentially a teen soap opera where they break out into song and dance at every emotional climax gets a thumbs up in my books. It's like Dawson's Creek meets The Sound of Music.
But I'm also a big believer in respecting the right of the creator. We're all creators, and if someone took our stuff and used it without our knowledge and without crediting us, even if they were legally allowed to, we'd be gutted.
Ugh, I hate moral dilemmas. Can't I just go back to thinking Darren Criss is cute?