by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 25th 2008 10:38am
Talk about a legal argument I'd want no part of: Yoko Ono is suing the makers of the anti-evolution documentary Expelled. The movie has received a ton of bad press, and there have been widespread dissections with the many problems in the movie which seems to have difficulty understanding what the scientific method is actually about. Apparently, in one part of the movie, the famous John Lennon song "Imagine" is used, and some of the people complaining about the movie got angry at Ono, thinking she had licensed the song to be in such a controversial movie. The clip was not licensed -- but the filmmakers claim that it's protected fair use, saying that they're using a short clip of the song for commentary purposes. I haven't seen the film, nor can I find that particular clip online, but, as awful as Expelled sounds, I have a hard time siding with Yoko Ono on this. Media companies have, for too long, been overly aggressive in claiming that any use of music in a movie must be licensed. That seems to go against the concept of fair use entirely, and it would be good to change that. I just wish it wasn't with a movie such as this one.
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