Things are happening exactly as I predicted…(Expelled! The Movie To Be Pulled From Theaters Following Myers/Dawkins-Gate Screwup)
The movie “Expelled!” with Ben Stein (you may have heard of it) includes a segment consisting of the animation of the inside workings of a cell. It is said to look a lot like a production that came out of Harvard and a private animation firm last year or so:
People who saw the clip used in Expelled! were beginning to think that the video Expelled! used was not the Harvard video because there were some differences. However, this remains unclear. My thinking on this was that it was the original video but somehow filtered through a process that may have rendered it a little different. Sort of like copying and pasting some text from a copyrighted source, changing the type face and font size, and declaring that it was different.
Well, the other shoe has dropped, the shit has hit the fan, the cows have come home to roost…
Peter Irons, the Attorney for XVIVO LLC has written the following letter to the producers of Expelled:
Re: Copyright infringement in “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”
Dear Mr. •••••:
This letter will constitute notice to you, as Chairman of Premise Media Corporation, of the copyright infringement by your corporation, and its subsidiary, Rampant Films, of material produced by XVIVO LLC, in which XVIVO holds a copyright.
It has come to our intention that Premise Media and Rampant Films has produced a film entitled “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” which is scheduled for commercial release and distribution on April 18, 2008. To our knowledge, this film includes a segment depicting biological cellular activity that was copied by computer-generated means from a video entitled “The Inner Life of a Cell.” XVIVO holds the copyright to all the models, processes, and depictions in this video, and has not authorized Premise Media or Rampant Films to make any use of this material.
We have obtained promotional material for the “Expelled” film, presented on a DVD, that clearly shows in the “cell segment” the virtually identical depiction of material from the “Inner Life” video. We particularly refer to the segment of the “Expelled” film purporting to show the “walking” models of kinesic activities in cellular mechanisms. The segments depicting these models in your film are clearly based upon, and copied from, material in the “Inner Life” video.
We have been advised by counsel that this segment in your film constitutes an actionable infringement of XVIVO’s intellectual property rights, as protected by federal statutes, including Section 106 of the Copyright Act, the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998. Each of these statutes provides for judicial enforcement of their provisions, with substantial civil penalties for their infringement.
We have also obtained legal advice that your copying, in virtually identical form, of material in the “inner Life” video clearly meets the legal test of “substantial similarity” between the copied work and our original work.
This letter will also serve as notice to you that XVIVO intends to vigorously and promptly pursue its legal remedies for your copyright infringement, unless and until Premise Media, Rampant Films, and their officers, employees, and agents comply with the following demands:
1. That Premise Media, Rampant Films, and its officers, employees, and agents remove the infringing segment from all copies of the “Expelled” film prior to its scheduled commercial release on or before April 18, 2008;
2. That all copies of the “Inner Life” video in your possession or under your control be returned to XVIVO;
3. That Premise Media notify XVIVO, on or before April 18, 2008, of its compliance with the above demands.
We have been advised, by a telephone conversation with Mellie Bracewell of Premise Media on April 8, 2008, that an e-mail transmission of this letter to her will be promptly forwarded to you. A hard copy of this letter, on XVIVO stationary, will also be sent to you today by express delivery.
We are sure that you will want to avoid legal action in this matter, and urge you to promptly notify us of your compliance with the above demands. You may do so by return e-mail, directed to david@••• or mike@•••, followed by a hard-copied letter indicating your compliance with the above demands.
Partner and Medical Director
Partner and Creative Director
Cc: Peter Irons, Esq.
Attorney at Law
2551 North Valley Road
Greenville CA 95947
Apparently, Expelled! producers have been canceling showings in various areas. Earlier cancellations were probably due to the PZ Myers Boot-Out, and one may hypothesize that later showings are being canceled as the lawyers huddle and try to figure out what to do next. The fact that the movie has achieved horrid reviews, including from right wing outlets such as Fox News may also be contributing to the derailment of this particular train.