NOW they are in trouble…

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Yoko Ono, Filmmakers Caught in ‘Expelled’ Flap

By ETHAN SMITH Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08

Having ruffled feathers in the scientific community, the filmmakers behind a documentary questioning evolution theory have now incurred the wrath of one of the most powerful figures in the popular music business, Yoko Ono, and have generated a blogosphere mini-drama in the process.

The flap concerns the film’s use of the song “Imagine,” by the late John Lennon. Bloggers had accused Ms. Ono, Mr. Lennon’s wife, of selling out by licensing the song to the filmmakers. In fact, her lawyers say, she never granted permission for its use.

In a written statement, the film’s three producers – Walt Ruloff, John Sullivan and Logan Craft – acknowledged that they did not seek permission, but they called the use “momentary.”

Ouch.

Edit: There’s more, apparently.

UPDATE 4/17: According to a comment at the music blog “The Playlist”, the Killers were apparently snookered into granting license to use their music for “Expelled”, after the producers characterized the movie thusly:

The film is a satirical documentary with an estimated running time of 1 hour and 50 minutes, exploring academic freedom in public schools and government institutions with actor, comedian, economist, Ben Stein as the spokesperson.

Which is a bit like Leni Riefensthal describing “The Triumph of the Will” as “an inspirational documentary about German political discourse”. [hat tip: Quidam at AtBC]

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I’ve been sitting on this for an hour because, frankly, I can’t stop laughing quietly to myself. As Andrea over at the Thumb notes, the producers of Expelled are now in trouble with Yoko Ono for using Lennon’s "Imagine"... Read More

68 Comments

It’s OK, I’m sure they’ve replaced it with the soothing melody of one of Ben Stein’s famous opera performances. Doesn’t that sound glorious? Anyone? Anyone? Buhler?

In a written statement, the film’s three producers – Walt Ruloff, John Sullivan and Logan Craft – acknowledged that they did not seek permission, but they called the use “momentary.”

I think the words you’re looking for are “Oops, we’re screwed.”

I cannot wait to see how they plan to spin this tidbit. How stupid are these people?

So they’re actually going on the record as saying “Since we’re not using it in the final for-profit product, but only in promotional materials which advertise that for-profit product, we’re clear?”

I don’t know. If I make a trailer for The Incredible Hulk 2, and I don’t use “Sympathy for the Devil” in the movie itself - I _think_ I might have to get permission from the Rolling Stones to use it in advertising material.

ATTENTION PREMISE! FIRE YOUR LAWYERS. NOW. THIS WILL NOT HOLD UP. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?

Sheesh, how many more copyright infringements are lurking in this celluloid disaster? Of course, when ALL the copyright holders get together and sue them into a small, smoking grease spot, it will be just more evidence that the Big Bad Darwinist Establishment is Out To Get Them.

Think Lucy Liu in Kill Bill.

Chess players indeed.

Maybe it’s all part of their grand plan … a plan to keep the movie in the news for a long, long time. After all, they ARE masters of PR, right? Maybe their sugar daddies agreed to fund not just a cheesy film but also a series of lawsuits as a way to keep Expelled and ID in the news for years to come.

Gerry L:

Maybe it’s all part of their grand plan … a plan to keep the movie in the news for a long, long time. After all, they ARE masters of PR, right? Maybe their sugar daddies agreed to fund not just a cheesy film but also a series of lawsuits as a way to keep Expelled and ID in the news for years to come.

Perhaps. But it’s also likely they’re just morons. Seriously, think about it - with all the apparent deception and documentation thereof going on here, it seems to me like in addition to big monetary damages someone could also do some jail time.

A Promo DVD is an advert - as were the pre-screenings. I rather suspect that a great many musicians and music companies would object to the idea that any music is fair game for an advert as long as it’s kept below 30sec.

But any publicity is good publicity

“Help help -we’re being repressed - those nasty materialist rock stars want us to pay to use their music”

This just keeps on getting better and better :-)

They might (*might*) make an argument for using Imagine, actually (going by the standards here: http://centerforsocialmedia.org/roc[…]ractices.pdf , which - being written by people who want to claim fair use whenever possible - are presumably the loosest standards) although I would certainly not be unhappy if the Lennon estate legal team decided to pursue it. But even by those standards, I don’t think they could argue fair use for the Killers at all.

It’s all a chess game…they’ll just cleverly lay their king down on its side to lull us into a false sense of security!

WATERLOO!

Carrie:

They might (*might*) make an argument for using Imagine, actually (going by the standards here: http://centerforsocialmedia.org/roc[…]ractices.pdf , which - being written by people who want to claim fair use whenever possible - are presumably the loosest standards) although I would certainly not be unhappy if the Lennon estate legal team decided to pursue it. But even by those standards, I don’t think they could argue fair use for the Killers at all.

There could also be grounds for defamation as well I have a feeling.

A cunning plan Balderick.

Bless the IDiots turnip-loving hearts for providing us with such amusement!

Leeroy Jenkins!!!

I wonder what William Wallace will say about this.

ALL RIGHT, LET’S DO THIS!

Imagine there’s no premier, it’s easy if you try.

A bit OT, but bear with me…

I think we should get a new meme started:

“With his role in ‘Expelled’, Ben Stein has officially jumped-the-couch.”

What do you all think? :)

ellazimm:

Imagine there’s no premier, it’s easy if you try.

LOL!

Think Lucy Liu in Kill Bill.

except in the scene where Uma Thurman is removing limbs from her opponents left and right, you instead would see all the opponents stabbing themselves in the foot, repeatedly.

Did anyone ever find out if they had rights to use “Bad to the Bone” in their trailer? I notice none of the clips released since the short trailer use the song.

Wiki has the runtime of this movie at 97 minutes. IMDb has it at 90 minutes. Anymore copyright violations and this movie may end up being a “short”

Evolution and science are one thing, but you don’t mess with Yoko Ono. Everybody knows that. Them boys are in some deep stuff man!!

Well, there is always the possibility that tomorrow they will issue a press release claiming this is all part of the smearing campaign, and that they hired this talented British musician, Jon Bennon, to write up this new, totally original song, “Envision”, that just happens to sound a bit like some other people’s work. Sure, they used a bit of “Imagine” in the prescreening versions, but that was just a placeholder for the new song. And hey, there are seven notes out there, and only so many ways to put them together. Right?

Imagine all the people, not going to see this film. ‘cept on YouTube ooooo

You may say I’m a dreamer.

Miller? Miller? Mathis? Mathis? Anyone?

James F:

It’s all a chess game…they’ll just cleverly lay their king down on its side to lull us into a false sense of security!

WATERLOO!

What? The Abba copyrights as well?

James F Wrote:

It’s all a chess game…they’ll just cleverly lay their king down on its side to lull us into a false sense of security!

I thought Andrew Lloyd Webber owned the copyright to Chess…?

What? The Abba copyrights as well?

That would have been interesting. Björn Ulvaeus, angry outspoken atheist, would definitely sue.

I “imagine” that they wanted “Imagine” for the lyric “and no religion too.” But ironically there is an even more appropriate song, the rights of which they could have obtained, uh, “for a song.” That would be the Napoleon IV hit “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha!” They could have played clips of that every time some pseudoscience peddler got “expelled.” The DI would certainly have appreciated an approach that was less obvious about the religious motivation for anti-evolution activism.

So, will Dembski be along any moment now to tell us that the filmmakers did this on purpose too? They stole a classic and beloved Beatles song in order to generate buzz?

One more day before release time. The suspense is killing me. By the time the sun rises on the morning of the 18th will there even be a legal entity known as Premise Media remaining, or will they have closed shop and run off to Canada… woops, they’re there already, okay, Mexico, perhaps they’re ready for some sun and tequila shots after this nightmare.

Dean Morrison Wrote:

John Lennon can’t say anything about it it because he’s dead - perhaps they were relying on him being too busy burning in eternal hellfire to notice the copyright infringement.

Perhaps they are just so out of touch with the real world that they didn’t realise that he’s got a widow who’s very protective of his legacy… ; )

On the other hand I can imagine her being wary of taking on the gun-toting lunatic fringe.. : (

What, you think she has residences only in the USA? She needn’t appear in court herself, and I daresay she has some very good lawyers.

Nomad Wrote:

So, will Dembski be along any moment now to tell us that the filmmakers did this on purpose too? They stole a classic and beloved Beatles song in order to generate buzz?

Uh, Nomad, I think you might find that John wrote Imagine after the Beatles split up.

The right to use Imagine was given to Amnesty International, don’t know what the terms of the agreement is, so the morons at uncommondescent might want to stop calling Yoko tightfisted.

keith:

Dear turdheads,

”’

Go lecture the tides goofballs.

Why do you waste your time talking to turdheads and goofballs?

As a confirmed turdhead I must admit to misspelling Bueller’s name. It is, of course, the fault of the Darwinist Conspiracy. (psst, Torbjörn Larsson, I couldn’t find your quote on that page)

andrea:

and this is how many people they’ve stolen things from?

Nope. Just the ones they’ve been caught at so far.

Seems they follow the ONE Commandment: THOU SHALT NOT GET CAUGHT!

Of course, they’re not competent to even pull THAT off.

Shirakawasuna said:

(psst, Torbjörn Larsson, I couldn’t find your quote on that page)

It is (parts of) two quotes.

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This page contains a single entry by Andrea Bottaro published on April 16, 2008 9:40 PM.

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