The USS Quad Damage

The miracle of copyright

If you've ever seen the intro to "House" in Australia, you'll notice that the theme song sounds a lot like Teardrop from Massive Attack, but... well... it isn't. However, those of you who've watched the American version (from having been in america or downloading an episode) or have bought the DVDs, you'll notice that the song in the intro actually is Massive Attack's Teardrop. In fact, even the closed captions in Australia erroneously state that "Teardrop - Massive Attack" is playing. Why is it they re-do the theme song in Australia?

I could only think of two reasons for this. The first is that Teardrop, complete with video clip of in-utero baby singing, was a pretty popular song in Australia. Maybe it wasn't so popular in America, so a lot of people in America would've been "introduced" to the song (and the composers) through the show. A lot of shows do this now, using slightly off-beat artists in their intros, and it mutually benefits both parties. In Australia, already being so popular, Teardrop could've made the show look cheap (like it was stealing the whole in-utero idea, maybe). I think specifically noting the difference in release times: Teardrop is a really old song here compared to House, which has only recently started airing.

Anyway, that reason sounds a bit weak, mainly because of the fact that it implies that the guys who make the show care enough about Australia to re-dub the intro, or that the station in Australia cares enough to change it to suit. I don't buy that either of them care for this market. I think the issue is one of copyright and royalties. Basically, I think the show doesn't have the right to play Teardrop in any country but America, so they had to quickly cut it out and replace it with the "slightly different" version you hear in Australia.

That's the miracle of copyright.