The Verge on the Jonathan Coulton / Glee news:
The licensing fees Coulton pays in order to sell “Baby Got Back” just clear him to sell the song, but don’t create a new copyright in his arrangement. His work arranging the song effectively has no copyright at all — which means Glee’s producers could take it at will. Think of it this way: our laws say you don’t have to ask permission to make a cover song, but the tradeoff is that someone else doesn’t have to ask permission to make a cover that sounds exactly like yours.
I’m looking forward to the response we hear from Coulton’s lawyer (he says they’re doing research) because I’m not completely sold on this idea Coulton’s cover/arrangement has no copyright and that he has no recourse.
But I also wouldn’t put it past the lawyers at Fox to know exactly what they’re talking about.