Open thread

Why are people talking about Peggy Noonan again all of a sudden?

Talk about whatever.

112 replies
  1. 1
    utterdregs says:

    What, has she drowned in a butt of Malmsey?

  2. 2
    zmulls says:

    Open Thread? OK, then.

    Has everyone been following the Jonathan Coulton vs. GLEE story today? Coulton did a very imaginative cover of “Baby Got Back” some years ago. Unique arrangement and he pretty much wrote a new melody for it, laid-back acoustic arrangement.

    GLEE stole his arrangement, note for note (the GLEE soundtrack track sounds *exactly* like Coulton’s track). No credit, no money. Their lawyers pretty much snickered that since Coulton’s was technically a cover he was screwed and nyeah-nyeah-nyeah (they didn’t actually *say* nyeah-nyeah-nyeah, I don’t think).

    Interesting legal issues, and they are probably correct (unless they swiped portions of his track); but it’s a crappy thing to do to a pretty nice guy and totally unnecessary.

    Links and comments are out on Twitter under #teamcoulton.

  3. 3
    iriedc says:

    I’ll resist the Great Google and let some other poor soul find out. Thanks in advance….

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    Haven’t skimmed recent threads but have we given appropriate condemnation to Harry Reid on the filibuster issue?
    And no, I don’t mean the thirty posts in such a thread where everyone so helpfully says, “I blame Obama”.
    /in before Baud, Lamh62, ruemara, rikyrahrah, Hill Dweller, Capt Mnemo, et al

  5. 5
    Davis X. Machina says:


    sed s/drowned in/drained/

  6. 6
    Michael says:

    Open thread?

    The D.C. Circuit ruled today that the President’s Recess Appointment power only extends to recesses between Congressional sessions, not recesses during those sessions. It also only extends, according to the D.C. Circuit, to recesses that occur between sessions. Which is to say, if the appointment opens up during a session, it cannot be filled by recess appointment even between sessions.

    Needless to say, this is a dramatic clawback of Presidential power, and would void 100s of appointments if applied retroactively. Of course, it won’t be applied retroactively, and perhaps not applied at all, but it would seemingly serve to void all the NLRB rulings that occurred in the last year and render the NLRB essentially defunct until a fillibuster is broken on nominees.

    Perfectly timed with the Dem cave on fillibusters! Though I haven’t read the details of the fillibuster cave; someone told me it has some progress on nominee stuff?

    The D.C. Circuit opinion may get reheard en banc (by the entire Circuit instead of just a 3-judge panel); it seems as though at least the 3 Dems still serving on the Circuit would want to rehear. Judges Kavanaugh and Brown are less certain, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they voted to rehear. If the Circuit does not overturn itself en banc, then the case is almost certainly destined for Supreme Court review, but in the mean time, it leaves the status of the NLRB and its recent rulings in question.

  7. 7
    Scott S. says:

    @zmulls: Honestly, I don’t think they’re going to get away with it. “Baby Got Back” is a cover — but the melody he wrote for it was all brand-new, and they lifted the whole thing, without attribution or payment. They’re probably going to get sued hard, and I think they’re going to lose.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    LAC says:

    Well, she did step on the ball…har, har

  10. 10
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Michael: As I said on the previous thread, both Earl Warren and William Brennan were recess appointments. Imagine if decisions they were a part of were invalidated.

    I would think almost any court would have to take history into account when reviewing this.

  11. 11
    Maude says:

    White House doesn’t agree with the decision.

  12. 12
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Maybe her gut has something important to tell us.

  13. 13
    ding dong says:

    The dauphin lady has had some very good plastic surgery fairly recently.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:


    Yup, a single nutball in the Senate can now defeat the will of the nation and their elected President. It would be nice to think there wasn’t a single nutball in the Senate but at the moment we know there are at least 45 of them.

  15. 15
    Suffern ACE says:

    Every time I’ve passed the TV lobby today, the folks are talking about Ackman vs. Icahn on Herbalife. Have no idea what it’s about, but the bloomberg article had this tidbit:

    Speaking at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York on Dec. 20, Ackman detailed his short-selling strategy through a presentation that lasted more than three hours, including a question-and-answer period, and featured more than 340 slides.

    When I take over the country, presentations will have no more than 10 slides, including the title.

  16. 16
    scav says:

    Minor giggle to be had thinking about how tax haven (approved by truffle-huffing surrender monkey movie stars!) gay-bashing Russia (led by strong man former spy!) is probably the most logical destination now for the nostalgic-for-the-50’s Real™ ‘Mercans.

  17. 17
    PeakVT says:

    Some space aniversaries yesterday: 9 years since Opportunity landed on Mars, and 27 years since Voyager 2 visited Uranus. I’ll save somebody a bit of typing by pointing to this list of Uranus jokes.

  18. 18
    Haydnseek says:

    I wasn’t aware of anyone talking about Nooner. There’s never been an especially good reason to mention her, then I realized it was Douglas trolling again. Thanks for the Herbie Hancock track, at least.

  19. 19
    Alex says:

    I’ll repeat from last open thread, from the head of the South Carolina GOP –

    [The Obama campaign] targeted inner-cities, and they had cell phone numbers that they could send constant text messages to. You talk to some of those people with Obama phones [sic], and they were getting 3-5 text messages a day from the Obama [campaign] to go out and vote. That’s reaching your base, man.

  20. 20
    lamh35 says:

    Watched Something About Mary last night. Been a long time since I’ve seen it. I always want to ask my guy friends is it really easy to get ur junk caught up in if zipper? As a last with appropriate jays parts, I’ve never had that problem. In fact I’m bit even sure what the lady equivalent would be? Any ideas?

  21. 21
    zmulls says:


    I think they will get away with it *legally* — yes, it’s an obvious lift, but I don’t think Coulton can copyright a new melody to an existing song (law gets murky there).

    But I think they will lose in the court of public opinion, and wind up giving him something. Coulton is an internet superstar and I bet the ill will bubbles up to the cast. The cast members can’t afford to be associated with a show that the twitterverse thinks is evil. The producers don’t care but the cast needs good will for future projects.

  22. 22
    Maude says:

    Oppy was a three month mission.

  23. 23
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    When I take over the country, presentations will have no more than 10 slides, including the title.

    Slide 1: Dance for me, little men
    Slide 2: Anybody who refuses to dance will be shot
    Slide 3: Q & A: any questions? No? Good.
    Slide 4: Refreshments are in the back

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @ding dong:

    Did said plastic surgery replace her addled noodle? Does she no longer fight with Nancy for the prime spot next to the shitty grade-Z movie star’s coffin?

  25. 25
    lamh35 says:

    @lamh35: ugh, stupid IPhone auto spell. Last bit should begin with “As a lady with lady parts…”

  26. 26
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @zmulls: What are you talking about? Arrangements are both legal and copywriteable under US law, and copyrights are implicit.

    If he can convince the court they covered his arrangement, they owe him. Period.

  27. 27
    TooManyJens says:

    @Suffern ACE: Later this afternoon I have to record someone making a 98-slide presentation. Pray for me.

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:


    but I don’t think Coulton can copyright a new melody to an existing song (law gets murky there).

    A person may copyright an instrumental.

    George would have been mighty surprised to learn that only Ira’s work counted.

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    Noonan is wrong about everything. Also, she is drunk or high on tv. You sort of have to admire that.

  30. 30
    Haydnseek says:

    @Alex: It was effective because the ObamaPhone(tm) is programmed with the extremely powerful NigrahNumber(tm) phone directory database. Utilizing special Blacktooth(tm) wireless technology, the rethugs were rendered helpless. Game, set, and match.

  31. 31
    Big R says:

    @lamh35: Underwire coming out of the cloth.

  32. 32
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Michael: F*ck the Constitution if it means screwing unions, amirite?

    And I mean this… that document wasn’t written so that the Senate could endlessly hamstring government by refusing to fill positions for years.

  33. 33
    Bago says:

    Anyone ever play Shadowrun? Because I’m fairly certain that I’m a decker in the Redmond barrens rocking out to tron on my headset while probing the wireless connections right now. Literally.

    In Seattle we have a black president, gay marriage, legal weed, and the best tech in the world, between google, amazon, intel, and Microsoft. We have parks with programmable led’s in the city, and a friction space needle.

    It’s 2013, and its damn well time we started acting like it.

  34. 34
    Cassidy says:

    J. J. Abrams is set to direct the new Star Wars movie. Maybe the Aluminum Falcon from Start Trek will be in it.

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    @TooManyJens: Good lord. I will now curse that person! May she or he be forced to sit through a 2 hour training on the document retention policy every Monday Morning until retirement!

  36. 36
    lamh35 says:

    In other news, my laptop that I just bought less than 3 years ago has had a hardware failure & I lost all of the info I put on it for the last year (it’s been awhile since I backed it up…shit!). So I have to used IPad or IPhone or Kindle fur everything. But not everything is able to bd accessed on them.

    So I’ve been without since at least a week. But good news is I FINALLY got my final paycheck from my last job (it’s almost a month worth of pay thanks to excess PTO) so I’m gonna get a replacement or a better computer.

    I’m thinking of buying a MAC, but I don’t wanna have to use my whole check on it (aren’t MAC more expensive?) so I’m thinking maybe a refurbished one would be cheaper??

  37. 37
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Alex: Who told the poors they could vote?

    /shorter ever SC pol ever

  38. 38
    lamh35 says:

    @Big R: oh yeah, that does hurt, but I’ve never screamed like a dude seems to scream when he junk is threatened…lol

  39. 39
    Bago says:

    @lamh35: it’s easy the first time. Emphasis on first. Thank god I still have a foreskin. Thanks mom!

  40. 40
    dan says:

    Why are people talking about Peggy Noonan again all of a sudden?

    Because she seems to be in the last stages.

  41. 41
    Cassidy says:

    @Bago: Yes, I play Shadowrun and Deckers are extinct [phased out as a character class].

    Other intersting movie bits. The Justice League film is , supposedly, slated for 2015 with batman, Superman, Flash, Green lantern and Wonder Woman. Ryan Reynolds is expected to return, making the Green Lantern moviverse canon. Same goes for the upcoming Superman. But, it’s also been stated that we won’t see Batman again until 2017. All I have to say is that Rocket Racoon, possibly voice by Adam Sandler, will be on the big screen before the Justice League.

  42. 42
    The Dangerman says:

    I see Mickelson apologized, but he’s become the unwitting Poster Boy for the tea types. I’m happy he’s wealthy enough to fly his own planes to the tourneys so he doesn’t have to sit with the riff/raff on a commercial flight. I wonder if he wonders who pays for the ATC’s the watch his precious ass in the skies (let alone other special perks of being filthy fucking rich).

    Fuck him.

  43. 43

    NASA engineers also fired up refurbished versions of the gas generators for the Saturn V F1 engine, to collect data for new designs.

    For those components not available, they found some pristine examples (including a few from the Smithsonian), laser-scanned them, and built working replicas.

    Studying a working design from almost half a century ago, to inform new ones. How radical.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @lamh35: “As a lady with lady parts…” in close context to plastic surgery and lingering images of the jay’s parts stitched to a lady or any non-Corvid for that matter. Modern life is just so tricky what with ladies with laddies parts (popular), ladies with not-quite lady’s parts (very popular) and not quite ladies with perfect lady’s parts (more of a niche market).

  45. 45
    Haydnseek says:

    @lamh35: You might want to look into a refurb. Mac. I bought my iMac as a refurb through the Apple Store last May. I saved two hundred bucks, it had the same warranty as a new unit, and when I got it home I couldn’t tell it from new. You will still pay a little more, but it’s a good way to go if you want a mac.

  46. 46
    👽 Martin says:


    but I don’t think Coulton can copyright a new melody to an existing song

    Yes he can. He paid the original songwriter for the rights to do that. It’s more than just a cover.

    This is all pretty well established outside of pop music. New arrangements for public domain music gets written all the time (choir, orchestral) and the new arrangement is definitely covered by copyright, where the original no longer is.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh35: Never happened to me. A kid in my 3d grade class buttoned the tip into his jeans way back when, but the kid wasn’t very bright. He wa also going commando. One of the lessons I learned from his experience is that one should never go commando while wearing button fly jeans.

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    Happened to me with a pants zipper once; I was, like, 13. On another occasion many years later, the head of my, um, thing got trapped in a crack that I hadn’t noticed in a plastic toilet seat. That hurt. How I managed not to scream my head off (no pun intended) I don’t know.

    Lady equivalent? I do have an idea; but I think I should let the lady commenters answer that one.

  49. 49
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:


    In other words, GOP can do whatever the fuck they want for-fucking-ever because Democrats under the eyes of the law are illegitimate by definition. Anything and everything in order to ensure nothing fucking gets done as long as a Democrat is in ‘control’ (which he never really is because FUCK YOU COMMIE THIS IS OUR COUNTRY).

    Because not like any other president actually made recess appointments during intrasession recesses, or filled vacancies which were long standing long after the vacancy occurred. But hey, anything to allow Congressional GOPers to ensure nothing fucking gets done and the gov’t collapses on itself to embarrass the Blah in the Oval Office and his commie illegitimate America-Hating LoserDems who should never be allowed to do anything but live under the heel of REAL ‘MURKA.

    Fuck this shit.

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    And max four bullet points each.

    You have my vote.

  51. 51
    ruemara says:

    @Corner Stone: You really hold grudge, don’t you?

    Is anyone talking about Nooners? Maybe the national conversation is really chatting about sex in the afternoon. Or perhaps heavy drinking at lunch and that’s why you think it’s about the Noonster.

  52. 52
    Walker says:


    Really, Shepard?

  53. 53
    srv says:

    Pentagon goes Galt:

    The US defence department says it has begun laying off most of its 46,000 temporary employees, as automatic defence budget cuts loom in March.

    And defense will available 4-days a week starting in April.

  54. 54
    Comrade Mary says:

    @👽 Martin: It might be a little more complicated: he may have paid for a mechanical license only, which would permit him to play his version but not necessarily assert any other rights. He added some off the cuff text when describing how his works were covered under Creative Commons, which ambiguates things a bit, too.

    However, IANAL and am just repeating objections I have heard elsewhere. Hope those fuckers at Fox pay him and give him credit nonetheless.

  55. 55
    Cassidy says:

    @srv: They’re not going galt. They’re laying off temporary hires to try not to furlough the full-time people. If it comes to it, people start getting told to go home or not come in (I’d be one of those) as non-essential personnel.

  56. 56
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: I am looking forward to this. He basically Star Warsed the new Star Trek movie (which I liked, but I’m not a Trekker), so I’m sure he can handle this.

  57. 57
    trollhattan says:


    And defense will available 4-days a week starting in April.

    To confuse the Evil Doers, which four days will remain classified.

  58. 58
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Comrade Mary: But if they actaully used Coulton’s own recorded arrangement — and people with better ears than me say they did — hoo-boy. Shit, meet fan…

    … except Coulton says that he’s fucked. Bastards.

    Well, they aired it, seemingly unchanged. And it’s now for sale in the US iTunes store. 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). While they appear not to be legally obligated to do any of these things, they did not apologize, offer to credit me, or offer to pay me, and indicated that this was their general policy in regards to covers of covers. It does not appear that I have a copyright claim, but I’m still investigating the possibility (which I consider likely) that they used some or all of my audio. I’ll write something longer and more detailed about this when I can get my head together about it probably in a couple of days. Thanks for your support, but please continue not to burn anything down.

  59. 59
    Cassidy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Same here. I’m not Star trek fan at all. I don’t hate it, think it sucks or anything, it just never dd it for me. But I did enjoy the new movie and am looking forward to the next one. I think it was a good choice. I think Affleck, Singer, and Snyder were on the short list, but I felt that none of them could really do it right.

  60. 60
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Bago: I’m going to be the mage then.

  61. 61
    burnspbesq says:


    You can do a 13-inch MacBook Air for around $1,100. It’s worth it.

  62. 62
    👽 Martin says:

    @lamh35: As Haydnseek says, refurbs from Apple are a good deal. They’re every bit as good as new machines.

    Best Buy is having a $200 off sale on Macbook Airs through tomorrow.

    That puts the new machines at pretty much the same prices as a refurb. As to more expensive, that depends on how you look at it. If you buy comparable hardware to the Mac, Apple’s prices are comparable. But if you are okay with lesser hardware – either lower specs or lower build quality/more shovelware/etc then there’s a lot on the market below Apple’s prices.

    Apple prices their products at about $1/day for its expected life. A Mac laptop should last you a solid 3 years, and typically costs about $1000-$1200. Considering how much time most of us spend at our computers, $1/day is fucking cheap for a top brand product you’ll likely spend hours per day using. How much time did you spend with that Starbucks coffee this morning? And you paid more for it. Hell, most people are paying $8-$10 an hour to drive their car and nobody thinks twice about buying something nicer than a Nissan Versa.

  63. 63
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Mary: What if they had used the original music and sung new lyrics written by Coulton? I don’t see how this is any different. He has a new composition that is commonly performed with an old song.

    When anybody in the aluminum disc business tells you how much they love musicians, kick him in the balls.

  64. 64
    zmulls says:

    I wasn’t coming on to debate the copyright law — IANAL, and know something about it but there are a lot of nuances. It seemed to me reading the various accounts (not to mention Coulton’s post, printed above) that the Fox/GLEE lawyers can make a very strong case. No matter how you slice it, it’s not a slam-dunk for Coulton, in a court of law.

    But it’s so very obviously a rip-off, to the even-unpracticed ear and to common sense. I am watching (and occasionally participating in) the twitter conversation. I think if the cast starts seeing lots of tweets about it it will make a difference.

    (One enterprising Tweeter has started responding to GLEE fans tweeting that they loved the song, with a link to one of the articles and a comment that Coulton wrote the arrangement — I’m not sure i’m ready to start bugging hapless fans)

  65. 65
    trollhattan says:

    For Citadel fans, NY Mag has a rundown of the various Galty proposed enclaves/getaways/hamster tubes. I totally didn’t know about Belle Isle.

  66. 66
    burnspbesq says:

    This is a pretty good take on the Mary Jo White nomination. Needs one correction, though: Debevoise did not represent Tommy Hilfiger in the grand jury investigation in 2004-05. Debevoise were counsel to the special committee of the board of directors. Wachtell Lipton represented the company before DOJ and the IRS, and Tommy had his own counsel (don’t remember who that was).

  67. 67
    TooManyJens says:

    @srv: Why the fuck does the DoD employ 46,000 temps?

  68. 68
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cassidy: Same here, preferred the action version to the original talky stuff. Hadn’t heard about the new movie, now I’m excited. He’s a great choice for Star Wars. If he can’t do it, then maybe we’ll have to accept that Star Wars is finally dead.

  69. 69
    Gian says:


    we find out darth vader goes back in time to specifically to kill himself and not become Luke’s father?

  70. 70
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @srv: I have this picture in my head of some 13F calling for artillery fire, and getting a recording: “Hello, you’ve reached the FDC. Thank you for calling. Your business is very important to us. Calls will be answered in the order received. We are open from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM daily. If you are calling outside our business hours…”

  71. 71
    Another Halocene Human says:

    I’m about to get whiplash trying to follow all the reversals in Washington these days.

    Presidentin’ while blah again, eh?

    Oh, sure, a majority of the public, in spite of voter suppression (and no, the notion that more people voted because of the attempts is a myth… numbers don’t lie… less Black people voted early in Florida and an analysis of whose absentee ballots got tossed out will prove instructive, I think) voted against your agenda, but the Confederacy rides again, as ever.

    Fuck these muthafuckas.

  72. 72
    Jay in Oregon says:


    GLEE stole his arrangement, note for note (the GLEE soundtrack track sounds *exactly* like Coulton’s track). No credit, no money. Their lawyers pretty much snickered that since Coulton’s was technically a cover he was screwed and nyeah-nyeah-nyeah (they didn’t actually *say* nyeah-nyeah-nyeah, I don’t think).

    The best part is that some asshat connected with Glee said that Coulton should be grateful for the “exposure”. What exposure? There is no mention of Coulton’s name in the show and he appears nowhere in the credits.

    I will be very interested to see how this shakes out. And they are correct about one thing: there’s enough virtual ink being spilled over this that a lot of Glee fans who’ve never heard of Jonathan Coulton might be inclined to check out his work.

  73. 73
    freelancer says:

    Some days are just not worth getting out of bed for.

    My cousin suffered a ruptured appendix about 10 days ago, he was hospitalized and went septic. His mother and sister flew in to be with him and he was just released yesterday.

    Today news broke that the woman that he had been seeing over the last few months was killed in Madison, Wi. The woman was my cousin Jen’s best friend and they had met through her.

    I had started an online fundraiser (through a site that Gex had linked to for Kate) to help him with his bills, but this is a punch to the gut and I don’t know what to do or say to him.

    I’m speechless and today sucks.

  74. 74
    Cassidy says:

    @TooManyJens: The Federal Gov’t employs lots of temp jobs as well as contract positions. It’s just cheaper. A lot of the temp jobs are seasonal and new hires on a probation period. Theoretically, I can’t get laid off anytime before May. After that I have more rights as a Full Time-permanent employee.

    @SatanicPanic: The new movie looks badass and Cumberbatch is supposed to be very menacing.

    @Gian: Oooh, or Darth Vader goes back in time and fights Captain Kirk.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    Not surprisingly, Taibbi is being an idiot about White.

  76. 76
    Cassidy says:

    @freelancer: That really sucks. Sorry to hear all that is happening to you guys.

  77. 77
    Ed Drone says:


    And max four bullet points each.

    Oh, no! The legal limit will be 10 bullets — the 30-bullet and 100-bullet types will soon be outlawed.

    Then, of course, only outlaws will have more than 10 bullet (points).


  78. 78
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:


    Why the fuck does the DoD employ 46,000 temps?

    independent contractors working on the Death Star

  79. 79
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’m usually skeptical but I think he could have a case. (copyright)

    Yes, refurbished macs and a good deal, though PCs are still cheaper, as are of course refurbed PCs.

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    Star Wars took place “long ago in a galaxy Far Far Away”. So Darth Vader would have to time-travel into his far future, and reach the Milky Way from the galaxy ruled by Shrek’s father-in-law. Or something.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    And in other news, it looks like the Michigan GOP is marching ahead with its “some votes are worth more than others” electoral college revamp. My poor home State – it used to be one of the most progressive in the nation. It was still moderate and prosperous in the ’80s when I grew up there. I don’t know WTF happened.

  83. 83
    Bago says:

    @Walker: Probing?

  84. 84
    Ed Drone says:


    Why the fuck does the DoD employ 46,000 temps?

    Fewer benefits needed, and they can fire at will.



  85. 85
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Coulton’s getting bad advice. The problem is that it’s music, not lyrics, and judges typically stick their thumb up their anus and then sniff it to decide music cases. But musicians have sued other musicians over everything from stolen “beats” to reusing specific, “signature” licks (think something like the Dresden Amen–Mendelsohn and Wagner used it–but in a pop music context). Btw, that last case was successful. You just need a tenacious/audacious enough lawyer.

    Practically, Coulton might be fucked because a media giant has expensive lawyers and he can’t afford one.

  86. 86
    The Golux says:

    @lamh35: My band played at a bar in North Haven where one of the bartenders grew up in Rhode Island with the Farrelly brothers, and he apparently was the inspiration for the zipper scene. Based on a true story!

  87. 87
    Another Halocene Human says:

    The other thing that bothers me is that the big boys seem to be playing mind games with Coulton. Thinking back on other lawsuits against musicians & the entertainment industry, it seems like even tenuous claims have had judges awarding modest amounts of money when the profits were big enough.

    He said “cover of cover” but he wrote a new melody and arrangements are protected by law. He’s chasing down his performance but his work as a composer is also protected.

    Heck, there are people out there making a living basically (ab)using the arrangements protection in copyright law. Ever wondered where those “student orchestra” versions of stuff come from?

    I am not a lawyer.

  88. 88
    zmulls says:

    Practically, Coulton might be fucked because a media giant has expensive lawyers and he can’t afford one.

    That’s probably the advice he’s being given. His lawyers probably aren’t saying he can’t possibly win — they’re probably saying it would be an expensive, and Pyrrhic victory.

  89. 89
    Gravenstone says:

    @lamh35: Unfortunately, if you’re going commando it can be done. As a youthful misadventure will forever remind me.

  90. 90
    👽 Martin says:

    @Ed Drone:

    Fewer benefits needed, and they can fire at will.

    Actually, probably more likely that the contracts don’t have long term funding. When our budgets get uncertain, we stop filling permanent positions and hire short-term instead for those tasks we would cut with the budget as it gives us more flexibility. When budgets are more predictable, we shift the short-term workers into permanent positions.

    Sequestration went forward a year ago. I bet DOD started really cutting back on the permanent hiring starting then, and this is precisely why. These are essentially the jobs that they figured they’d need to cut, and the stuff they wanted to protect got permanent hires.

  91. 91
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I think your last para sums it up: he is in the right, but probably can’t afford to take this to court.

    However, if people keep talking about this online, the story should percolate up to enough trad media to give him some credit and exposure. I hope.

    Re the Dresden Amen: Cool! Have you ever looked into the Amen Break?

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Then it turns out that Obi-Wan and Padme had some action on the side, and HE is Luke and Leia’s actual father.

    “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope”, indeed!

  93. 93
    Gravenstone says:

    @Bago: Nope, but I did get to watch a very entertaining argument between a couple high school rules lawyers playing Shadowrun the next table over (we were were playing BattleTech). To your point though, yes a lot of “cyber” fantasy stuff does seem to be coming closer to fruition, doesn’t it?

  94. 94
    Fluke bucket says:

    Facebook has exploded with some YouTube of Obama saying he would fire on Americans. Everybody asking for prayer and shit. What is that all about?

  95. 95

    @Suffern ACE:

    When I take over the country, presentations will have no more than 10 slides, including the title.

    You must have heard of the Guy Kawasaki 10-20-30 rule?

    All your slide decks are belong to me!

  96. 96
    gogol's wife says:

    Everyone has such serious stuff to discuss today, but I’m all excited by the news my brother gave me, that my idol Shirley Temple is on Twitter:

    Now I have to figure out what the hell Twitter is so I can “follow” her, whatever that means.

  97. 97
    Calouste says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    I think your last para sums it up: he is in the right, but probably can’t afford to take this to court.

    America, it’s got the best justice money can buy.

  98. 98
    Chris says:

    Wooooot..FTW man…FTW…

  99. 99
    Michael says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: It really is infuriating, isn’t it?

    All these bad faith arguments that hack judges are swallowing in full because they are just as deluded as the rest of the Fox News crowd.

  100. 100
    danielx says:

    Why is everyone talking about Peggy Noonan?

    Because we’re cruel. Why not talk about Our Lady of Stolichnaya? It’s like shooting fish in a barrel; I still get a giggle out of her pronouncement about the Romney campaign needing an intervention from Republican elders, whoever the hell they were supposed to be.

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    @Fluke bucket:

    Facebook has exploded with some YouTube of Obama saying he would fire on Americans. Everybody asking for prayer and shit. What is that all about?

    It’s funny. I sent a gun nut friend of mine the link to The Onion article about the 62 yr old man stopping govt takeover and he responded by sending me a link to that told the story of Obama firing any military leader who wouldn’t pledge to fire on civilians.
    I was confused for a bit. I couldn’t tell if he meant to respond to satire with satire or if he was fucking serious about believing this bullshit.
    I’m still not really sure.

  102. 102
    PurpleGirl says:

    @trollhattan: And will be changed randomly week to week.

  103. 103
    JoyfulA says:

    @Amir Khalid: A common female equivalent made a top-heavy coworker scream when she slammed her desk drawer shut while leaning a little too far forward.

  104. 104
    Maude says:

    I got a refurbish laptop at Amazon. Went through BJ to buy.
    You can get a great deal on one there. Get refurbished, not used.
    Mine is in pristine condition.

  105. 105
    A moocher says:

    @lamh35: catching yer tits in a mangle?

  106. 106
    Joel says:

    @zmulls: Frankly, if the lawsuit does to Glee what the Turtles’ lawsuit unfortunately did to De la Soul, I’ll consider it an act of karmic retribution.

  107. 107
    PurpleGirl says:

    @freelancer: That is a horrible situation. Please accept some virtual hugs.

    It’s best just to say that you are sorry about what happened. Look over what people here said to Gex. I’d also continue with the pay forward site plans; he still needs the help and it will give him support (economic and emotional). I hope he and you find peace and comfort.

  108. 108
    Bruce S says:

    Presumably this refers to Chris Matthews’ citing Nooners as a “not insane” GOPer because she says “Obama wants to change the country in fundamental ways” and “He has no talent for or interest in sustained, good-faith negotiations”, rather than “He’s a Kenyan, Muslim Socialist like Hitler and Stalin.”

    The fact is, her POV on Obama is totally fucking nuts. That she expresses it without crapping her pants and in self-consciously faux-elegant prose, is some sort of “plus” compared to the droolers, overt racists, sociopaths and terminal paranoiacs. But there’s nothing intelligent or modest about this crank. She just smells a little better than Rushbo.

  109. 109
    redshirt says:

    I’m hoping JJ Abrams films Hurley’s version of Return of the Jedi.

    So freakin’ meta!

  110. 110
    Brachiator says:


    Has everyone been following the Jonathan Coulton vs. GLEE story today? Coulton did a very imaginative cover of “Baby Got Back” some years ago. Unique arrangement and he pretty much wrote a new melody for it, laid-back acoustic arrangement.

    This was a big story among tech geeks last week. Many in the tech world love Coulton. The irony is that many of these same geeks who insist that copyright is obsolete and that every artist should be happy to give his or her work away were falling all over themselves to whine about how horrible it was that Coulton had his work stolen by those eveil folks at Glee.

    And yeah, it wasn’t just the music, there was a lyric change in Coulton’s version not in the original of this song that the Glee people stole word for word.

    The Glee producers should just invite Coulton to appear in an episode and move on.


    I’m hoping JJ Abrams films Hurley’s version of Return of the Jedi.

    Would Hurley be Jabba the Hut?

  111. 111
    redshirt says:

    @Brachiator: That’s fatist. You don’t get my reference?


  112. 112
    YellowJournalism says:

    @lamh35: Child crushing your swollen, cracked-from-breast feeding nipple under their knee as they try to climb onto the bed at night.

    Or so I’ve heard.

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