Pharyngula

Imagine this

Uh-oh. They pissed off Yoko Ono.

Yoko Ono, son, Sean Ono Lennon, and Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son from his first marriage, along with privately held publisher EMI Blackwood Music Inc filed suit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeking to bar the filmmakers and their distributors from continuing to use “Imagine” in the movie.

They are also seeking unspecified damages.

Comments

  1. #1 kid bitzer
    April 23, 2008

    after all, i’m forever in your debt…

  2. #2 Kirk
    April 23, 2008

    For once, I’m on Yoko’s side. I hope she puts them all in the poor house.

  3. #3 Darrell
    April 23, 2008

    I suppose if you use a song in a movie without getting proper permission, you’re an idiot, and you deserve to get sued.

    Sure, Yoko Ono is a pig, but still.

  4. #4 ThirdMonkey
    April 23, 2008

    Awesome. Now I can go to lunch happy.

  5. #5 Inoculated Mind
    April 23, 2008

    Crap. Does this mean they may cancel showings? I have been putting it off…

  6. #6 The Science Pundit
    April 23, 2008

    Brian Flemming predicted this would happen on his last blogpost. (Sorry, no link. I’m on my mobular.)

  7. #7 SC
    April 23, 2008

    Can someone please explain the reason for the widespread hostility toward Yoko Ono? I’ve never understood it.

  8. #8 DBE
    April 23, 2008

    I a little surprised, actually. I had heard about the use of “Imagine” in the film before I saw it and was under the impression that the sample used was much longer than it turned out to be. From seeing the movie, I thought the excerpt would count as “fair use”. (Not that I’m supporting the lying liars who lie constantly that made this film in any real way.)

  9. #9 Stephen Wells
    April 23, 2008

    Yoko Ono is like a hedgehog because…

  10. #10 SEF
    April 23, 2008

    The length of the sample isn’t actually the main issue in “fair use”. It’s the purpose of using any sample at all which is key – viz it has to be for educational / research, critique / reporting or parody of that item (and not just to spruce up some otherwise dull material about something entirely different).

  11. #11 Michelle
    April 23, 2008

    Wow. This is the first time I feel grateful towards that bitch….

  12. #12 Bureaucratus Minimis
    April 23, 2008

    IM: It’s unclear to me from the Reuters article whether the plaintiffs (Oko, Lennons) are seeking an injunction (court order) seeking to stop the film from being shown. If so, the injunction would probably only be binding in the Eastern District of NY.

    The longer the film is shown, and the more revenues it produces, the larger the potential award (“unspecified damages”).

    Bottom line: Schweet!

    Disclaimer: IANAL, TANTBTALA, consult your attorney, etc.

  13. #13 George Cauldron
    April 23, 2008

    Can someone please explain the reason for the widespread hostility toward Yoko Ono? I’ve never understood it.

    “Hey, that chick broke up the Beatles, MAAAANNNN!”

    Plus she’s Asian. That doesn’t help.

  14. #14 Brando
    April 23, 2008

    Prediction: they’ll use the Kent Hovind defense ;)

  15. #15 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    …a wizard’s staff has a knob on the end?

    “The dream is over.”

  16. #16 Norman Doering
    April 23, 2008

    SC wrote:

    Can someone please explain the reason for the widespread hostility toward Yoko Ono? I’ve never understood it.

    Not me. I’ve always kind of liked her and her conceptual art.

    Could it be that people are still upset because they think she broke up the Beatles? Well… I like what John did without the Beatles.

  17. #17 Michelle
    April 23, 2008

    @#7: She’s a creepy hippie asian, what else?

    …As for the breaking the beatles up part… I secretly thank her for it. Overrated stuff.

  18. #18 Damon B.
    April 23, 2008

    Ok, all malicious falsehood and ignorance brought forth by the producers of Expelled aside…

    Documentary or not, not securing synch rights for music tracks in your productions is nigh-unto the most ri-goddamn-diculously stupid thing you can do as a filmmaker. ESPECIALLY with a song such as Imagine, and an artist such as John Lennon.

    It’s definitely a “what the hell were they thinking?” moment, but as others have pointed out, it’s almost like they violated copyright law on purpose, for the exposure. It’s like they’re saying, “Go on, dare us, just dare us to do it… We’ll do it… Just dare me–OOPS we did it! What are you going to do now? Eh? EH!?”

  19. #19 Gene
    April 23, 2008

    Re: #7 — because some people blame Yoko for the Beatles breaking up. Once John found Yoko, he seemed more interested in being with her than with being with the Beatles. That’s my understanding.

  20. #20 me
    April 23, 2008

    But if there are no possessions, how can there be any intellectual property rights?

  21. #21 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    re: “Can someone please explain the reason for the widespread hostility toward Yoko Ono? I’ve never understood it.”

    1. Some consider her a talentless groupie partially or completely responsible for breaking up the Beatles. She certainly broke up John’s first marriage.

    2. Produced weird recordings consisting of repeated nonsense and/or inhuman screeching in addition to her “conceptual art” avante-garde performances.

  22. #22 Stuart Weinstein
    April 23, 2008

    I’m surprised that would use Imagine which has lyrics like “No religion too.. “..

    Wonder what context that number was ensconced in.

  23. #23 Emmanuel_Goldstein
    April 23, 2008

    Can’t wait for the headline: Yoko wins Ben Stein’s money.

  24. #24 Bob L
    April 23, 2008

    How do they use Imagine in the movie? Such and atheistic song seems like an very odd choice.

  25. #25 Glen Davidson
    April 23, 2008

    There’s someone who can force out every cent those assholes owe to her.

    I only hope that some of the others can squeeze money out of those thieves.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  26. #26 Leena
    April 23, 2008

    Wow, god must be pretty pissed about this movie, huh? Or, wait, maybe it’s just a test of faith. Yeah yeah, that’s it. Test of faith.

  27. #27 Ray C.
    April 23, 2008

    This is right up there with Ronald Reagan’s campaign using “Born in the USA”. Duuuuudes, how about paying attention to the lyrics once in a while!

  28. #28 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    re: “I’m surprised that would use Imagine which has lyrics like “No religion too.. ” Wonder what context that number was ensconced in.”

    “Christianity isn’t a religion… it’s a relationship!”

  29. #29 Ericb
    April 23, 2008

    #24, I think they use it as the background music for their Holocaust clips.

  30. #30 Glen Davidson
    April 23, 2008

    How do they use Imagine in the movie? Such and atheistic song seems like an very odd choice.

    The reports are that they are trying to be ironic, playing the song while bleak and destroyed landscapes (Nazi footage?) are shown on camera.

    Like everything else, they completely lack any nuances that would make it work artistically, though as propaganda to the naive it may play well.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  31. #31 gwangung
    April 23, 2008

    Nah, using the song period fits in with not securing rights. These guys are amateurs; there are scruffy students with cheapo hand held DV camcorders who’re more professional than these nitwits….

  32. #32 Matt
    April 23, 2008

    Good on Yoko.

  33. #33 Reginald Selkirk
    April 23, 2008

    How do they use Imagine in the movie? Such and atheistic song seems like an very odd choice.

    It came right after the interview with PZ Myers, where he says he wishes the role fo religion would be diminished to a hobby like knitting. The Ben Stein voices over and says this is not an original idea, he stole it from John Lennon, then they launch into the Imagine clip. As if John Lennon were the first person ever to propose that the world would be a better place without religion.

  34. #34 Etha Williams
    April 23, 2008

    Oh, this is going to be good…

    I can see how they might have been able to weasel their way out of an XVIVO lawsuit, but I don’t see how the best lawyers in the world could get them out of this pickle.

    Might have to go so Expelled tonight, though, in case they cancel future showings….

  35. #35 Glen Davidson
    April 23, 2008

    Wow, god must be pretty pissed about this movie, huh? Or, wait, maybe it’s just a test of faith. Yeah yeah, that’s it. Test of faith.

    No no no, it’s those evil atheists being used by Satan to fight the truth of ID.

    What’s the matter with you, don’t you have a proper understanding of the evils of atheism?

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  36. #36 Anna
    April 23, 2008

    I keep thinking that, regardless of how bad the movie, suing the Expelled crew like this is not a great idea. If they seriously claim that creationists have been silenced, then this kind of behavior will only lend them credibility. Realistically, it’s not about that, but so far, Ben Stein and his crew have twisted just about every other bit of reality to suit them, and I suspect this would be no different.

  37. #37 Curt Cameron
    April 23, 2008

    Stuart wrote:
    I’m surprised that would use Imagine which has lyrics like “No religion too.. “..

    Wonder what context that number was ensconced in.

    Here is the clip from the movie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yXgLGix6v4
    (fast-forward to 2:15)

    “(Stein): Dr Myers would like you to think he’s being original, but he’s merely lifting a page out of John Lennon’s songbook.”

    Then they play the two lines, with subtitles, while showing pictures of Stalin: “…nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too.” It’s as if they are expecting the audience to be SHOCKED! at the words to one of the most popular and loved songs of all time.

  38. #38 SC
    April 23, 2008

    I agree with Norman Doering. She’s a good artist. She and John Lennon together made good art. And I never cared particularly for the…uh, never mind.

  39. #39 Alex
    April 23, 2008

    This is so ironic I don’t even know what to say.

  40. #40 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Expelled is on its Magical Misery Tour. I’ll tell you why nobody likes her music! *

    One of my favorite documents is a track off the Playground Psychotics CD, titled “A Small Eternity with Yoko Ono” which both Zappa and Lennon left off of their initial records of the time they performed together in New York, with special contributions by Flo and Eddie, in response to Yoko Ono’s performance with microphone inside a burlap bag, writhing and vocalizing.

    “Imagine” is the ringtone on my phone. I am proud to have paid Yoko, through many intermediaries, for that privilege.

    * Warning: Lord Privy Seal alert!

  41. #41 hibob
    April 23, 2008

    I thought the song had been edited out of the release version (after bloggers started complaining about Yoko approving the use of the song and Yoko circulated a letter stating her disapproval in response), and now the song is only in promotioner trailers that are still circulating.

  42. #42 Pleco
    April 23, 2008

    A Perfect Circle’s cover of “Imagine” sounds like it would have been more appropriate in that propoganda flick (with it’s key change to minor chords, etc.).

    And I bet if the movie’s producers had chosen that cover, they would have used it without permission too.

  43. #43 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    I feel kinda conflicted about this. Not because I have any particular animosity towards Yoko, you understand — I wasn’t alive when the Beatles broke up. What bothers me is the following:

    1. I appreciate every opportunity to demonstrate that the makers of Expelled, and professional creationists in general, suffer from a disease of the moral organs. When people aren’t eager to hear technical details and scientific evidence, we have to engage them on an emotional level, and one way to do that — with integrity, I believe — is to appeal to their moral sense.

    2. However, I think the creative world would benefit from a broad interpretation of Fair Use and looser restrictions on reusing material. We’d be better off, artistically, if “Imagine” had been licensed under Creative Commons — we’d have to deal with all sorts of irritations, 90% of all “Imagine” edits and remixes would be crud, etc., but we’ve found diamonds in worse rough than that.

    My personal judgment tends to lean heavily on the “commercial use” part of the Fair Use criteria. A three-minute remix of a song made for entertainment with no eye to financial gain is less problematic than fifteen seconds appropriated for profit.

  44. #44 Andreas Johansson
    April 23, 2008

    The version I heard was it’s played to photage of Communist Chinese atrocities. IANAL, but I imagine they’ll claim fair use on account of being criticism.

  45. #45 Curt Cameron
    April 23, 2008

    About why she’s hated for breaking up the Beatles…

    I loved The Beatles, although I never really discovered their music until I was in college around 1980. But I think their breakup happened at just the right time. I would really hate to see them continue on and put out crap music past their prime.

  46. #46 beagledad
    April 23, 2008

    What’s with the anti-asian racism in comments about Yoko Ono? Was I mistaken in thinking a blog that promotes clarity of thought might be the last place to find gutter-level bigotry?

  47. #47 Susan B.
    April 23, 2008

    Is there ANYTHING in that movie they didn’t rip off from somewhere else? They got their interviews dishonestly, they stole (excuse me, COPIED) that animation, they used this song without permission…just more evidence that creationists can’t produce anything new, whether science or anything else.

  48. #48 Leena
    April 23, 2008

    Glen, you ARE evil.

    Why? Because I read your comment while taking a sip of seltzer. I laughed, spit seltzer all over my keyboard, and bubbles went shooting up my nose.

    But no, really, atheists really are horrible. Ben Stein says so –áit must be true.

  49. #49 Andreas Johansson
    April 23, 2008

    dammit, multiple xpost. Ignore what I said and watch the clip instead!

  50. #50 Reginald
    April 23, 2008

    I’m at once giddy as hell beacuse this will bankrupt the Expelled people both morally and financially, but it may give them more media attention than they deserve. It hardly made a ripple in the news otherwise.

    And to the people saying they’re torn over fair use. Fair use is protected so that truthful and well-thought out documentaries need not go bakrupt in licensing fees, not for outright slander and lies.

  51. #51 BobC
    April 23, 2008

    I can understand why Yoko Ono would not want John Lennon’s music associated with christian scum. Especially not the anti-religion song “Imagine”.

  52. #52 DH
    April 23, 2008

    (shakes head)

    IDiots indeed…

  53. #53 SC
    April 23, 2008

    Next the Smithsonian’ll be coming after them for ganking (thanks, commenter on a previous thread!) the stock knitting footage.

  54. #54 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    My above link to the youtube video with the John Lennon parody from an old National Lampoon recording has a delightful back story.

  55. #55 thalarctos
    April 23, 2008

    Documentary or not, not securing synch rights for music tracks in your productions is nigh-unto the most ri-goddamn-diculously stupid thing you can do as a filmmaker. ESPECIALLY with a song such as Imagine, and an artist such as John Lennon.

    Yeah, when you consider it’s bankrolled by Ruloff, the elementary failure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on permissions is even more bizarre–if anyone ought to know about playing IP hardball and due diligence against the possibility, you’d think a Microsoft retiree and his lawyers would.

  56. #56 Pwnagepanda
    April 23, 2008

    Wait, so who hasn;t sued them yet?

  57. #57 Geral
    April 23, 2008

    In a few days they’ll announce this is another attempt of Big Science trying to suppress their film.

  58. #58 Glen Davidson
    April 23, 2008

    Glen, you ARE evil.

    Why? Because I read your comment while taking a sip of seltzer. I laughed, spit seltzer all over my keyboard, and bubbles went shooting up my nose.

    I swore that all would taste the fruits of my atheism, when they would not bow down to my trinity of Darwin, Dawkins, and Gould.

    This is just the beginning, for next time it shall be red wine.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  59. #59 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    Reginald (#50):

    Fair use is protected so that truthful and well-thought out documentaries need not go bakrupt in licensing fees, not for outright slander and lies.

    And will a ruling in Yoko’s favor this time endanger that protection, making life more difficult for future honest documentaries? I’m not saying it’s a sure thing, but it seems plausible. Will the courts judge the honesty and truthfulness of every such documentary, to see if they meet the “Yoko Test”? Are they even competent to do so?

    I’d love to see Premise Media and Ass-Prod Mathis get a bloodletting. They’re oleaginous creatures of fetid sleaze. I’m hoping that they suffer some righteous consequences — that for sowing the wind, they reap a fucking typhoon.

    But while hoping for the best, shouldn’t we be planning for the worst?

  60. #60 Inoculated Mind
    April 23, 2008

    What’s with the anti-asian racism in comments about Yoko Ono? Was I mistaken in thinking a blog that promotes clarity of thought might be the last place to find gutter-level bigotry?

    Hello, Troll. Nice try on scoring points, but let’s take a look at the actual comment:

    Can someone please explain the reason for the widespread hostility toward Yoko Ono? I’ve never understood it.

    “Hey, that chick broke up the Beatles, MAAAANNNN!”

    Plus she’s Asian. That doesn’t help.

    George Cauldron was being part sarcastic, and part observational. George was not voicing a racist opinion but merely pointing out that for a lot of people out there, the fact that she is Asian influences their opinion of her.

    Ok, now that I’ve doused the troll, please, no one feed it.

  61. #61 Etha Williams
    April 23, 2008

    @35 Glen Davidson —

    No no no, it’s those evil atheists being used by Satan to fight the truth of ID.

    In fact, ‘Satan’ comes from the hebrew word for Adversary; the meaning of this is often taken as referring to the role of the prosecuting attorney in adversarial justice systems (such as the one we have in the US).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan#As_the_.22accuser.22

    Coincidence? I think not…..

  62. #62 Inoculated Mind
    April 23, 2008

    Wait, so who hasn;t sued them yet?

    Kent Hovind.
    But it ain’t over yet.

  63. #63 Dan
    April 23, 2008

    I really don’t have any opinion of Yoko Ono as a person. She seems to be behind some good causes, but really, I just don’t hear enough about her to be able to say whether I like her or not.

    Now, the fact that she’s suing these criminals behind this film moves her into the list of people I think nicely about.

    Not sure if that makes sense. I’ve got a head full of pain meds. But, I think if you’re going to hate someone, you probably should have one or two good reasons, shouldn’t you?

  64. #64 beagledad
    April 23, 2008

    Mind @ #60:
    So “creepy hippie Asian” (#17) isn’t racist? You don’t get away with racism by pretending it’s a joke or by taking a cute ironical stance.

  65. #65 minusRusty
    April 23, 2008

    @ Ken Cope, #40:

    One of my favorite documents is a track off the Playground Psychotics CD,…

    I initially misread that as Pharyngula Psychotics CD…

    Alas, my hopes were dashed on re-reading it…

    -Rusty

  66. #66 zer0
    April 23, 2008

    After watching just 2 mins of that movie in the clip linked to in #37, I know for a fact that I will never sit through the full 90+ minutes of that film.

  67. #67 Leena
    April 23, 2008

    If someone called me a creepy hippie South Asian, I wouldn’t consider it racist. I might be a little peeved at being called a hippie, though. My 2 cents.

  68. #68 The Science Pundit
    April 23, 2008

    Brian Flemming predicted this would happen on his last blogpost. (Sorry, no link. I’m on my mobular.)

    Here‘s the link.

  69. #69 pzph
    April 23, 2008

    This is petty, and to get on the “anything to slam Expelled” bandwagon is childish and doesn’t do the cause of science any good. Besides, I doubt there’s any chance of this suit getting anywhere.

  70. #70 David Wilford
    April 23, 2008

    Well, it was Ben Stein’s money…

    FWIW, while Yoko certainly was a catalyst who sped the breakup of the Beatles, John would have eventually done so anyway.

  71. #71 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 23, 2008

    This is petty, and to get on the “anything to slam Expelled” bandwagon is childish and doesn’t do the cause of science any good. Besides, I doubt there’s any chance of this suit getting anywhere.

    How is it petty? They stole. They try and say they are the big moral cookies in the jar yet they show over and over they aren’t.

    Pointing and laughing at hypocrisy is justified.

  72. #72 Interrobang
    April 23, 2008

    Okay, if we’re going to give people a pass on racism, could we please not refer to Yoko Ono in such misogynistic terms, please? So far, we’ve had commenters call her a “pig” and a “bitch” (anybody who wants to make an issue out of the sexism of those terms needs their heads read) and someone else said she was like “a hedgehog because…” which reads an awful lot to me like that sexist “pincushion” joke. Yes, I am having a “humourless feminist” moment. Lick me.

    Me, I don’t like her because I basically think she’s famous for being famous, and that she was an artistically-talentless hack to start with. (She apparently has many talents, including being a very good businessperson, but art? IMNSHO, not so much.)

  73. #73 Liam
    April 23, 2008

    “Can’t wait for the headline: Yoko wins Ben Stein’s money.”

    Gold, absolute gold my friend!

  74. #74 Gregory Earl
    April 23, 2008

    Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles. That alone would be reason enough to like her. Plus, one may not like her art, but it is certainly interesting. Plus, John Lennon loved her, and he was one cool guy, so that counts in her favor. Plus, she is suing the dirtbags that made Expelled. That settles it. I will vote for her in the presidential election.

  75. #75 QrazyQat
    April 23, 2008

    I keep thinking that, regardless of how bad the movie, suing the Expelled crew like this is not a great idea.

    Yeah, I guess we should just let them steal whatever they want. That is the alternative, the only alternative, to suing them at this point. Sure, some people will take the thieves’ side, and they’ll pat themselves on the back for being good Christians while they do so, but really, is a fear of hypocrites doing that worth letting them steal whatever they want? Would you not protect your property if they stole it?

  76. #76 David Wilford
    April 23, 2008

    pzph, no one in their wildest dreams would have believed the makers of Expelled would be so stupid as to blatantly violate the copyright of a VERY famous song. Let me assure you, Ben Stein would have better odds jumping in a tank of sharks at this point, because the law is entirely on Yoko Ono’s side and she is definitely not afraid to use it.

  77. #77 Rich
    April 23, 2008

    Q: What’s yellow and feeds off beatles?

    A: Argiope aurantia

    PS. KRISTINE IS TEH WITCH, BUY DENYSE O LEARY’S BOOK, SEE THE NEW TREE OF LIFE:

    http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/2884/familytreeve9.jpg

  78. #78 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    Brian Flemming sez:

    Fair-use exceptions are possible*, but if the Expelled producers simply used “Imagine” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” to underscore the emotion of the film’s images, which appears to be the case, well, that’s not fair use. It’s just…use. That’s how all movies use music. Fair-use exceptions have to be, you know, exceptional.

    The footnote leads to the following:

    One fair-use exception possibility would be if you made a movie claiming that the song “Imagine” caused the Holocaust. In this case, you couldn’t expect to get permission from the song’s copyright owner, but you might need to play parts of the song to illustrate your criticism. This use would not be a normal use of a song in a movie. It would be exceptional. You would at least have an argument from which to start. By the way, you’re freaking insane.

    OK. So, if any one of a large number of songs could be used for the same effect, then I don’t think the Expelled producers can claim fair use under the criticism/parody aspect. Question: which other famous rock songs could be used in the same way?

    “Jesus died for somebody’s sins. . . but not mine. . . .”

  79. #79 MikeM
    April 23, 2008

    Well, let’s just say a judge decides that Expelled’s producers must split the profits between Yoko and XVIVO.

    That leads to an interesting question: What profits?

    Their opening revenues were revised downward in the last 24 hours. This thing is losing money big-time.

    I had to go to the UCD blog to find out what they had to say about that, and you know what they’re claiming? Theatre-hopping atheists. No, I’m not making that up.

    If the movie was as popular as they’d expected, there would not have been any seats left in theatres for theatre-hopping. Right now, this thing is showing in nearly deserted theatres.

    Sarah Marshall is really a better movie.

  80. #80 SC
    April 23, 2008

    Newtopia was fairly impressive, in my view, as political art. But you know what they say about taste.

  81. #81 Hugh Slaman
    April 23, 2008

    I do not see what leg Yoko Ono has to stand on. The message of the song is clearly being criticized in the movie, (and that for no more than 15 seconds, as I just counted it on YouTube). This seems to count under “Fair Use”.

    It is possible that Yoko just wants to deter anyone else from using her song without permission, even if she has no case at all (she can afford to pay for her lawyers’ fees, and those of her opposition, if called upon to do so). It is possible she just wants to distance herself from the mesage of the movie. But the arguments do not seem to favour her at all. criticizing the ideas of a song ought to count as Fair Use.

  82. #82 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    and someone else said she was like “a hedgehog because…” which reads an awful lot to me like that sexist “pincushion” joke. Yes, I am having a “humourless feminist” moment. Lick me.

    The context you provide may not be appropriate. Apparently, you have not read the sacred texts by which the innertubes are properly parsed.

    The only reason to use the word “hedgehog” is to invoke Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, and one of its most famous denizens, Nanny Ogg, one of the Witches, one who is neither a Maiden, nor a–“well, we don’t like to say around Esme.” One of her two favorite drinking songs involves the hedgehog, the other is about the wizard’s staff (as you could tell, I replied in a proper “call and response” manner upon recognizing the reference).

    Here are the first three lyrics to the Hedgehog Song:

    1.
    You can bugger the bear, if you do it with care,
    in the winter, when he is asleep in his lair,
    Though I would not advise it in spring or in fall–
    but the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
    2.
    If you’re feeling quite coarse, you can bugger the horse,
    or the palfrey, the jennet, the stallion (with force),
    You can bugger the donkey, the mare, or the mule,
    Though to bugger the pony is needlessly cruel.
    3.
    You can bugger the ox (if you stand on a box)
    And vulpologists say you can bugger the fox,
    You can bugger the shrew, though it’s awfully small–
    but the hedgehog cvan never be buggered at all.

    Stephen Wells could have just said something like, “Yoko is someone you don’t want to fuck with,” invoking Frank Zappa’s Billy the Mountain, but Discworld is less obscure.

  83. #83 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 23, 2008

    I can’t help but quote Mr. Frank Vincent Zappa when thinking about the key stone cops bumbling nature of the Expelled and DI folks.

    A wise man once said, never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment.

    and by disco I mean the Disco institute

    and

    “After all, he [God] wrote this book here, and in the book it says he made us all to be just like him! So if we’re dumb, then God is dumb – and maybe even a little ugly on the side.”

    Man i wish they had used a Zappa song.

  84. #84 Patricia C.
    April 23, 2008

    #60 I agree with you, George Cauldron was simply answering the question by stating the facts as they were back then. Even among women in this area Yoko was hated, her race was almost always remarked on.

  85. #85 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 23, 2008

    Well, let’s just say a judge decides that Expelled’s producers must split the profits between Yoko and XVIVO.

    That leads to an interesting question: What profits?

    I don’t think the amount matters to Yoko so much. It’s the legal standing of the Expelled folks as thieves that matters. That and the “we won’t stand for this type of shit” message it sends.

  86. #86 Dan
    April 23, 2008

    This is petty, and to get on the “anything to slam Expelled” bandwagon is childish and doesn’t do the cause of science any good. Besides, I doubt there’s any chance of this suit getting anywhere.

    Posted by: pzph

    I think this suit has a tremendous chance of going very, very far. Last I checked, both Yoko Ono and EMI have considerable resources upon which to draw, and the criminals behind Expelled have yet to break even.

    As for the rest of your whimpering, blubbering concern, if you can’t tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong, and if would like to allow those criminals who have broken the law to go unpunished for their thievery, then I sincerely question whether or not you are even a good person.

  87. #87 raven
    April 23, 2008

    Can someone please explain the reason for the widespread hostility toward Yoko Ono? I’ve never understood it.”

    1. She helped break up the Beetles.

    2. I’ve never understood her conceptual art. It is almost like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Is it invisible to the hoi poloi or is it just nonexistent?

    3. She doesn’t have a warm fuzzy personality that is obvious anyway.

    I doubt the Asian hippie chick thing has much to do with it. You are expecting an avante garde artist to be a fundie WASP?

    This is one time where being a tough bitch will be worthwhile.

  88. #88 Hugh Slaman
    April 23, 2008

    Dan,

    Fair Use, baby, Fair Use…..

  89. #89 jeff
    April 23, 2008

    Brian Flemming predicted this would happen on his last blogpost.

    That’s nothing.

    John Hamilton saw this one coming when John Lennon was still trying to imagine some of the people.

  90. #90 blf
    April 23, 2008

    I haven’t watched/listened to any of the clips, so apologies if this is a silly question, but… Who is the singer? Band? I’m guessing, but wouldn’t they or whoever it is who owns the rights the performance used/stolen also have a claim?

    Changing gears…

    According to this article, the Excruciating scumbags have admitted the theft:

    The filmmakers confirmed that they did use the track without permission, but they insist that their legal counsel told them it was fair use protected under the First Amendment due to the fact that they only used 25 seconds of it.

    That particular article, from an “entertainment magazine” called PASTE, is of unclear reliability. It refers to a Wall Street Journal article (that I do not have full access to). Both(?) articles are about the previous flap when some people incorrectly assumed Yoko et al. had granted teh scumbags a license.

  91. #91 The Barefoot Bum
    April 23, 2008

    Russell Blackford has a good argument for considering the use of Imagine in Expelled to constitute fair use.

  92. #92 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Beatles biographer Hunter Davies referring to the Lennon interview for Rolling Stone confirms that the other three Beatles hated Yoko:

    It’s correct to say, as he [Jann Wenner] does in the interview, that the Beatles had hated Yoko. I had by chance interviewed her a year earlier, before she met John, and she’d asked me to appear in her Bottoms film. I declined, but went along, saw the bottoms being filmed, and wrote a mocking piece. I was as amazed as the three other Beatles to go into Abbey Road studios one day and see her sitting there, with John. “Who the fuck is this,” they were mouthing at each other.

    As for the squeals of fair use, hurled like crucifixes before the ravening gaze of a red-eyed Christopher Lee in Dracula drag, the proper response from Yoko and her attorneys is “use it or lose it.” Imagine is kind of like the crown jewel of the Lennon estate, and neither Yoko’s nor EMI’s attorneys would permit its appropriation without a legal challenge, any more than Da Mouse would permit me to post 25% of Snow White on youtube. Copyright can be lost if it is not protected.

    Go Yoko!

  93. #93 Kay
    April 23, 2008

    Wow! Those creo’s are powerful. Expelled is still sporting a solid B at Yahoo movies. At least if it makes money the money will get redistributed.

  94. #94 NelC
    April 23, 2008

    Ken @92: You’re confusing copyright and trademark. Trademarks can be lost if they aren’t defended; you can choose to defend your copyright or not, it has no effect your retention of the copyright.

  95. #95 Rob Davidson
    April 23, 2008

    As much as I like to see Expelled taking a beating, and as much as I love much of Lennon’s output, I think Yoko should be paying anyone to have to listen to that execrable song. Yes, the “imagine no religion” bit is good, but the rest of the sentiments – well, I think Stephen Pinker put it best in The Blank Slate. And then there’s the music – ugh.

  96. #96 Evan Henke
    April 23, 2008

    This reminds me of the whole scandal behind the Ghostbusters theme and Huey Lewis and the News (American Psycho, anyone?). Essentially, Ghostbusters producers wanted Huey Lewis to do the theme song, he refused, so the got Ray Parker Jr. to compose a rip-off of “I Want a New Drug”, which sounds very Huey Lewis-esque. Lewis then said something like “They wanted my sound, I said no, but in the end they wound up buying it anyway (after he settled with them out of court for plagarism).” In the end, it may turn out that Expelled will get to keep the snippet, they’ll just have to pay astronomically for it.

    Jerks.

  97. #97 SC
    April 23, 2008

    Attacks on Ono for allegedly breaking up the Beatles seem to assume that they were the musical be all and end all to begin with. I disagree. [HIGHLY STRAINED ANALOGY ALERT:] It all seems somewhat like accusing outspoken atheists of hurting the cause of science. Why aren’t more people accusing religious science advocates of hurting the cause of reason? Why is the question of how the “extremist” Black Panthers hurt the Civil Rights movement asked all the time, while the question of how the Civil Rights movement hurt the Black Panthers not?

    I mean, he didn’t stop creating when he met her. They just went in a different direction. Why are the Beatles the presumed protagonists in this tale?

    (These are rhetorical questions. Just flinging them out there. No need to respond.)

  98. #98 QED
    April 23, 2008

    I really have to wonder if the movie was actually meant to be a “throwaway”, a ruse, backed by more hidden money than the cost of the film itself to offset the legal challenges. With every controversy, the more likely some knuckle-dragger (or otherwise disinterested legislator) will be to take notice and jump on the Big Ignorant Bus.

    Is it merely coincidence that “Academic Freedom Bills” popped up in several states just before the film’s premier? Today, the Florida Senate passed theirs giving teachers immunity for teaching just about anything in science classes. If it passes the House, it will negate the newly established science curriculum containing the word “evolution” for the first time. I believe several other states are considering similar bills as well. Thank you Rhonda Storms for dragging Florida education back to the Dark Ages.

  99. #99 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Trademarks can be lost if they aren’t defended

    That would be the source of my confusion. Thanks, NelC. Obviously, IANAL, but my hunch is that the attorneys were probably ready to sue before Yoko was convinced.

    I expect that Moral Rights are being protected here as well:

    An author may show that, in altering or distorting her work, someone has created a “derivative work,” thereby violating the Copyright Act.

    If authorship of a work is attributed to an author against her will, or misattributed, the author may have a state action for defamation against the person responsible for the attribution.

    If a person uses the identity of an author, or the works of the author, for her own benefit without the author’s permission, then she may have violated the author’s right of publicity or may be guilty of misappropriation of the author’s work.

  100. #100 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 23, 2008

    TANTBTALA

    What does that mean?

    Theatre-hopping atheists.

    LOL!

    Mind @ #60:
    So “creepy hippie Asian” (#17) isn’t racist? You don’t get away with racism by pretending it’s a joke or by taking a cute ironical stance.

    It would be racist if presented as one’s own opinion, but it isn’t. It’s a sarcastic observation. Look, here’s #17 again:

    @#7: She’s a creepy hippie asian, what else?

    …As for the breaking the beatles up part… I secretly thank her for it. Overrated stuff.

    Looks like Michelle doesn’t actually dislike Yoko Ono. This makes the interpretation most parsimonious that the first sentence is a sarcastic observation of what other people believe, and thus a criticism of racism.

    %lt;sigh>

    I am the one who’s supposed to have enough Asperger symptoms for being too na´ve to notice well-hidden irony. <clenching fists> <stamping feet>

  101. #101 Amy
    April 23, 2008

    #66: agreed, a 2 minute clip is enough, I couldn’t listen to any more of that narration.

  102. #102 Scote
    April 23, 2008

    The US doesn’t have “moral rights” copyright.

    As much as I’m against Expelled, I’m not necessarily for this suit. PZ posted clips from the Expelled DVD as fair use. If the imagine clip is short it could constitute fair use as well. And yes, commercial entities (like Science Blogs, I presume) can invoke fair use.

  103. #103 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    Clips from the Expelled promotional DVD posted on YouTube and used on ScienceBlogs are (a) used for the purposes of analysis and criticism, (b) drawn from promotional material and (c) not used in a way which brings PZ or ScienceBlogs a significantly larger amount of money than they’d get anyway. The extent to which all of these points justify a Fair Use claim is arguable, but on at least the latter two counts, they’re much more legitimate than Expelled‘s use of “Imagine”.

  104. #104 AlanWCan
    April 23, 2008

    Re: #7 — because some people blame Yoko for the Beatles breaking up. Once John found Yoko, he seemed more interested in being with her than with being with the Beatles. That’s my understanding.

    And that’s wrong because…?

  105. #105 dave
    April 23, 2008

    I’ve always regarded Yoko as a powerful artist doing work of a kind I don’t like, but definitely good and influential in that field. By coincidence, a documentary film about the Who (Amazing Journey) was on the Beeb the other night, and Pete Townsend credited Yoko with inspiring his destruction of guitars in his acts – almost certainly before John met Yoko.

    The Beatles were brilliant, producing a whole lot of perfect work that’s essentially impossible to cover successfully, and gets really into your head but doesn’t suit a lot of repeat listening over the years. Me, for easy listening I still turn to The Kinks and The Stones.

    As for Ruloff and Co., they’ve been asking to be martyred and deserve all they’re likely to get. Hope they get it.

  106. #106 Hugh Slaman
    April 23, 2008

    Looks like the EXPELLED team are not people to back down from a fight……

    Executive Producers of EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed Statement on Lawsuit by Yoko Ono
    Robert Crowther
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    April 23, 2008

    Executive Producers of EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed Statement on Lawsuit by Yoko Ono

    The fair use doctrine is a well established copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism.

    We are disappointed therefore that Yoko Ono and others have decided to challenge our free speech right to comment on the song Imagine in our documentary film.

    Based on the fair use doctrine, news commentators and film documentarians regularly use material in the same way we do in EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed .

    Premise Media acknowledges that Ms. Yoko Ono did not license the song for use in the Film. Instead, a very small portion of the song was used under the fair use doctrine.

    Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the Imagine clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech and freedom of inquiry. Unbiased viewers of the film will also understand that the Imagine clip was used to contrast the messages in the Documentary and that the clip was not used as an endorsement within Expelled.

  107. #107 Brownian, OM
    April 23, 2008

    Theatre-hopping atheists.

    Sorry, but why are we supposed to pay them so we can listen to John Lennon?

  108. #108 Elf Eye
    April 23, 2008

    Scote, length is not the only issue. If PZ posted clips of Expelled the movie in order to discuss Expelled the movie, that might be fair use. Reviewers excerpt books and movies and albums all the time in order to review them. If the excerpt from “Imagine” the song was being played in order to critique “Imagine” the song, then that might be fair use, too. If, however, the song was being played as a musical backdrop, then, regardless of how thematically appropriate the music was to the point the producers were trying to make, they should have sought a license.

  109. #109 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 23, 2008

    Looks like the EXPELLED team are not people to back down from a fight……

    1. The suckumentary (thanks Nate and Di) is released already.
    2. They have to answer it in some fashion and no one thought they’d just throw up their hands and give a wink and say “Hehe, you got us” *finger point gun shoot gesture
    3. Judging from the the incompetence they’ve displayed in every other step in this saga, I’m far from impressed.
    4. I’ve watched the show “Cops” and seen thieves caught in the victims house not back down when the cops come rushing through the front door as well. It didn’t end pretty for the robbers.

  110. #110 SC
    April 23, 2008

    dave, I’ll keep an eye out for Amazing Journey. Sounds interesting, though I doubt it’s as engaging as The Incredible Journey :).

  111. #111 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    #94 re: “Trademarks can be lost if they aren’t defended”

    Some good examples: Cellophane, escalator, linoleum, and zipper all used to be trademarks but have passed into common usage.

    Xerox ran a P.R. campaign asking people to stop using “Xerox” as a synonym for “photocopy” for years (Perhaps they still do.) Aspirin is still a registered trademark of Bayer but I don’t think they have a campaign, as who are you going to convince to say “acetylsalicylic acid tablets” instead of “aspirins”?

  112. #112 Brownian, OM
    April 23, 2008

    So, if I were making a documentary about dedicated women working all hours to fund and operate a women’s shelter, I could play a song by Cyndi Lauper without paying her, because my documentary is demonstrating that girls don’t always just wanna have fun?

  113. #113 Dale Austin
    April 23, 2008

    The Premise press release is bluster. Their lawyers are busy cleaning out their shorts.

    I’d like my popcorn buttered, please.

  114. #114 Aquaria
    April 23, 2008

    Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles.

    Okay, once and for all, Yoko Ono didn’t break up the Beatles. They did it to themselves. John was thinking about leaving even before he met her.

    However, if any of the Beatles’ chicks could have been a catalyst for the breakup, Linda Eastman would have been it. If you were John, George and Ringo, would you be happy about Paul’s insistence on hiring his wife’s father as manager of the band, rather than the person the three of you wanted? Do you think those three would trust Papa Eastman to look out for their interests equally to Paul’s? I wouldn’t. Linda Eastman was an opportunist just as much as any other person who managed to worm a way close to the Beatles.

    But, no, the idiots don’t pick on the blonde, white American woman who played a bigger part in causing strife in the band. No, let’s blame the weird Asian chick–she’s an easier target.

    I wouldn’t put it past the Ex****** scumbags to have banked on having Yoko come after them for copyright infringement–she’s notorious for doing things like this. To too many morons, she’s a natural villain. Who wouldn’t feel sorry for poowe widdle Pwemise if they have that “dragon-lady” breathing fire at them?

  115. #115 Hugh Slaman
    April 23, 2008

    Dale @ 113,

    The press release doesn’t sound like bluster to me: it sounds like it came from people with a clearly thought out response to Yoko Ono’s charge. Enjoy your popcorn!

    Rev. BigDumbChimp @ 109, if you think the “Expelled” producer are incompetent, you are in denial. Their film was SUPERB, their advertising was SUPERB, their response to XVIVO’s claims was exactly right. They have a perfect right to comment on 10-15 seconds of the Lennon song, and it is out of line to call them “thieves” for doing that which their legal counsel assured them would be acceptable under the doctrine of fair use.

    Of course, I know both of you are just “framing” this issue in a way that helps the Darwinist side :-)

  116. #116 Some Dude
    April 23, 2008

    Does anyone else notice the irony of a song whose central theme is “imagining no possessions” and which amounts to a national anthem for communism is being invoked for “intellectual property” rights, and not even by the original author at that, but rather by a no-talent gold-digger who was smart enough to marry into wealth?

    Hypocrisy, anyone?

  117. #117 George Cauldron
    April 23, 2008

    I do not see what leg Yoko Ono has to stand on. The message of the song is clearly being criticized in the movie, (and that for no more than 15 seconds, as I just counted it on YouTube). This seems to count under “Fair Use”

    As ID’s two main amateur lawyers, Mr. Slaman and Larry Fafarman need to represent ID in its next big court case. I’m sure Dover would turned out totally different if they’d been on the job.

  118. #118 ThirdMonkey
    April 23, 2008

    So let’s sum up Robert Crowther’s response:
    Fair use allows commentary and criticism. (There is a law.)
    Yoko is attacking our free speech rights. (We are the victim.)
    The other kids are doing it. (If we are wrong, so are they.)
    Premise Media admits use without a license while minimizing its use. (We only used it a little.)
    True Scotsman defense. (“Unbiased viewers” will see that we are right.)

    Yes, I think that about sums it up.

  119. #119 Tyler DiPietro
    April 23, 2008

    “…their response to XVIVO’s claims was exactly right.”

    Which is why they ended up complying with XVIVO’s demands in the first place and removed the animation from the movie.

    Funny, innit’?

  120. #120 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Their film was SUPERB

    Well now, why didn’t you SAY so? I’m gonna buy 5 copies for my mother!

    a national anthem for communism

    Could you guys get it straight please, whether Darwinism leads to Communism, Capitalism, or SUPERB movies? I’m confused now.

    no-talent gold-digger who was smart enough to marry into wealth

    Yoko Ono was already an established and successful Avant-Garde artist and filmmaker before she met Lennon. You’re thinking of Linda Eastman, whose father Paul tried to inflict upon the band as their new business manager. Paul, as shown by his recent dalliance with a certain unidexter slag, still has poor taste in partnerships.

  121. #121 Jack Rawlinson
    April 23, 2008

    Yoko Ono did not break The Beatles up, for pity’s sake. The Beatles broke The Beatles up. I don’t much care for Yoko’s art, I don’t much care for her music (although “Walking On Thin Ice” still raises the hairs on my neck – in a good way) but the venom levelled at her then and now is disgusting, and I have always suspected it has something a bit nastier than “she broke the Beatles up” behind it. Misogyny would be the kinder of the two suspects I have.

  122. #122 Jack Rawlinson
    April 23, 2008

    Actually, I take that back. Misogyny is every bit as nasty as racism.

  123. #123 MTran
    April 23, 2008

    “The press release doesn’t sound like bluster to me: it sounds like it came from people with a clearly thought out response to Yoko Ono’s charge.”

    You haven’t done much IP litigation, have you?

    “They have a perfect right to comment on 10-15 seconds of the Lennon song, and it is out of line to call them “thieves” for doing that which their legal counsel assured them would be acceptable under the doctrine of fair use.”

    Says you. There are so many wrong assumptions in that single sentence I will just point you to the Enron, WorlCom, and other corporate criminals who claimed “but we got professional advice.”

  124. #124 George Cauldron
    April 23, 2008

    Could you guys get it straight please, whether Darwinism leads to Communism, Capitalism, or SUPERB movies? I’m confused now.

    Darwinism primarily leads to Nazism, but it also can lead to Capitalism and Communism. Whichever one needs to score rhetorical points at any given moment.

    But Fundies mostly dislike it because it leads to dancing.

  125. #125 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    121, 122, I agree completely. Ono brought Lennon to learn how to regard and treat her as an equal partner, modeling such a relationship in a way that imprinted itself strongly on my adolescent lizard brain. That squicks mysogynistic racists, but then, they squick me.

  126. #126 MTran
    April 23, 2008

    “Aspirin is still a registered trademark of Bayer”

    Not in the US, or many other countries. They lost their rights to the name as part of WWI reparations.

  127. #127 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    But Fundies mostly dislike it because it leads to dancing.

    Which is why Fundies don’t fornicate standing up. They wouldn’t want anybody to think they’re dancing.

  128. #128 reuben
    April 23, 2008

    I actually like Yoko Ono’s art.

  129. #129 possummomma
    April 23, 2008

    Exxxxxxxcelent.

    What the fuck is with these people? For a production company, they really suck at knowing what permissions, allowances, and contract law, applies to their film. It boggles the mind, really, that all of these “mistakes” were “mistakes”. I think Mathis, and others, knew full well what they were doing: misleading interview subjects, stealing graphics, kicking people out of their movies (in all of their spectacular, ironic glory), and now using music that they didn’t get permission to use? Give me a break. I saw a lame response from one of the Expelled supporters who said, “Lennon is dead so who should he have got permission from?” Um. How about the person who holds the rights to the song – like his wife and children!!

  130. #130 George Cauldron
    April 23, 2008

    I saw a lame response from one of the Expelled supporters who said, “Lennon is dead so who should he have got permission from?” Um. How about the person who holds the rights to the song – like his wife and children!!

    IDers’ ‘just make shit up as you go along’ approach to law is eerily similar to how they ‘do’ science. This is how Larry Fafarman can be an ID legal expert and Dave Scot can be an ID ‘science’ expert.

  131. #131 Phoenix Woman
    April 23, 2008

    Go get ‘em, Yoko!

  132. #132 toomanytribbles
    April 23, 2008

    a comment on the comments… (i haven’t read them all).

    1. i’m very disappointed to read anti-asian comments on this blog.

    2. laying blame on ono for the lennon’s decisions is classic demonization of women and an insult to lennon’s intelligence.

    on the original subject, yay!!

  133. #133 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Nobody can tell you exactly what “fair use” actually is; an attorney will say it has something to do with the respective legal budgets of the copyright holder and prospective fair user. At best, “fair use” is an argument made successfully only by furiously tap-dancing attorneys with a bigger budget than Expelled can ever hope to gross.

    Disclosure: I’m a diehard Negativland fan because they are so creative in their employment of copyright violation. However, even they have not always been able to justify infringement’s entertainment value in court.

    Here is a random FAQ entry on copyright infringement:

    What is copyright infringement?

    Infringement occurs when someone misappropriates the whole work or a substantial or signifcant part of it without permission of the copyright owner, even if the infringer is unaware that he is infringing copyright.

    There is no specific rule about this. Sometimes just using a very small part of a work (e.g. a few music notes such as the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony) could amount to infringement if it forms the most essential part of the original work. If a few notes immediately bring to mind the original song, there will definitely be infringement of copyright if that part of the work was used without the copyright owner’s permission.

    My guess is that after this is litigated, pharynguloids will be singing the praises of Yoko’s attorney to the tune of “My Sweet Lord; He’s So Fine.”

  134. #134 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    a comment on the comments… (i haven’t read them all).
    1. i’m very disappointed to read anti-asian comments on this blog.

    I am disappointed that you have misinterpreted reports of historical anti-asian sentiment directed at Yoko as anti-asian comments. In the time it took you to write that post, you could have followed the arguments, unless you are dishonestly trying to impugn the commenters here.

  135. #135 chancelikely
    April 23, 2008

    I’m really amazed at all the people misinterpreting ethnic slurs against Yoko Ono in the early comments as being straight instead of mocking. Perhaps I’m more inclined to be sympathetic to our regulars, or perhaps I can hear the sarcasm over the intertubes more clearly. But I’m trying to understand how any group of people can be less racist than people who recognize that we’re all the same species.

  136. #136 Bachalon
    April 23, 2008

    How long until wehear about “Big Music” trying to suppress them?

  137. #137 windy
    April 23, 2008

    a national anthem for communism

    So it’s not the Internationale anymore? Damn, Imagine is going to be a bitch to march to at the May Day parade.

  138. #138 The Wholly None
    April 23, 2008

    Really this whole EXPELLED movie sounds so amateurish and juvenile! But then isn’t that the audience to which they are appealing?

  139. #139 Charlie Foxtrot
    April 23, 2008

    Another carefully aimed foot-shooting incident? This lightning just keeps striking, doesn’t it?
    Anybody seen ‘The Producers’? IIRC that plotline is all about trying to loose money as fast as possible by doing everything they can to destroy a show, right up to including Nazis. (Godwins Law! I win! Oh, no…it doesn’t work that way… …moving on…)
    I’m starting to believe this not an ‘inept attempt at a IDiot propaganda movie’, but actually an ‘inept attempt at an insurance rort’.
    Certainly inept, anyway…

  140. #140 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    Ken Cope (#133):

    I’m a diehard Negativland fan because they are so creative in their employment of copyright violation. However, even they have not always been able to justify infringement’s entertainment value in court.

    Ideologically, I like what Negativland does. They push limits which need to be pushed, and all that. However, for the most part, I just can’t get into their music. Do I have to turn in my Media Anarchist hat now?

  141. #141 Russell Blackford
    April 23, 2008

    As I’ve argued elsewhere, the way it’s (apparently) used is very similar in spirit to a parody and should receive the same protection. Indeed, I think that is the principle that should be applied in rare cases like this where lyrics are subverted not by parodic wording but by the ironic use of accompanying images. No one seems to know of a case where this has been tested in court, and I expect that the IDiots obtained legal advice that the point is worth testing.

    As for why people dislike Yoko Ono, I have no idea. She’s one of the good guys as far as I’m concerned.

  142. #142 Some Dude
    April 23, 2008

    Yoko Ono was already an established and successful Avant-Garde artist and filmmaker before she met Lennon.

    Avant-garde = devoid of talent, unless you consider screeching and skittery mouse-noises to be “art”.

    Care to tell us about some of her “films”?

  143. #143 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    Russell Blackford (#141) summarizes a point argued at more length elsewhere:

    As I’ve argued elsewhere, the way it’s (apparently) used is very similar in spirit to a parody and should receive the same protection. Indeed, I think that is the principle that should be applied in rare cases like this where lyrics are subverted not by parodic wording but by the ironic use of accompanying images.

    How, then, would we evaluate the situation postulated by Brownian, OM (#112):

    So, if I were making a documentary about dedicated women working all hours to fund and operate a women’s shelter, I could play a song by Cyndi Lauper without paying her, because my documentary is demonstrating that girls don’t always just wanna have fun?

    This is not a rhetorical question; I genuinely suspect that there exist legitimate distinctions which we as individuals can make, even if they could not be enshrined in a code of law.

  144. #144 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    Oops, I meant to link to Russell Blackford’s site in that last comment.

  145. #145 gwangung
    April 23, 2008

    As I’ve argued elsewhere, the way it’s (apparently) used is very similar in spirit to a parody and should receive the same protection.

    Really? That the use is such that it can only be used with “Imagine” and no other pieces of art (which is the essense of parody)?

    I find that hard to believe.

  146. #146 Blake Stacey
    April 23, 2008

    gwangung, I tried to raise that point in comment #78, but I guess I was unclear:

    So, if any one of a large number of songs could be used for the same effect, then I don’t think the Expelled producers can claim fair use under the criticism/parody aspect. Question: which other famous rock songs could be used in the same way?

    Again, that’s not a rhetorical question. “God”, also by John Lennon? “Gloria” by Patti Smith? Suggestions welcome.

  147. #147 gwangung
    April 23, 2008

    Not even rock songs….other music or art….it’s the specificity that makes up parody and I don’t think the argument touches on it…

  148. #148 ARice
    April 23, 2008

    IANAL but I have read and researched the entire copyright section on “fair use” for a project I was doing years ago.

    “In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include: ….the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”

    Check this portion: “the effect of the use upon the…value of the copyrighted work.”

    What it can come down to is weather or not you have “altered the value” of the original work and In these cases, “value” means more than just money.

    If you have “altered the value” it falls out of “Fair use”. Equating the song with the images and other statements will be construed to have altered the value.

  149. #149 Russell Blackford
    April 23, 2008

    Blake, the law generally works with vague but commonsensical standards such as “reasonableness” and “fairness”. Those standards might not satisfy physicists, and unfortunately they do lead to quite a lot of uncertainty in the law, but often they’re about the best we have to go on when we try to resolve real life disputes about matters of judgment. Certainly, lawyers and judges are very experienced with such concepts. Using a counter-example that strikes us as unreasonable is not going to be a strong legal argument, because courts can find a million ways to distinguish such examples.

    With the Lauper song, it would be difficult to argue that there was a serious message in the song that was being undercut, whereas Lennon’s song quite seriously advocated a world with no religion. Also, note that Expelled plays only fifteen or twenty-five seconds of “Imagine” (depending on whose account you read). A court might ask whether more was played than was necessary to evoke the message that was being commented on by the images.

    Imagine (as it were) that Cyndi Lauper had put out a catchy and popular tune with the nonetheless seriously intended message that feminism has succeeded and there is no need for any more political action on behalf of women. Imagine that Cyndi’s ditty became a kind of “post-feminist” anthem. Then imagine that someone made a feminist documentary with the exact opposite message. In this documentary, just enough of the Cyndi Lauper song is played to evoke its post-feminist message, and the snippet is heard by the cinema audience over powerful images that depict (what plausibly amounts to) the continuing oppression of women. It seems clear enough to me that there’d be a very strong case for saying that this was fair use of the snippet of Lauper’s song in order to criticise the idea that it advocates. The very fact that Lauper (as we’ve imagined her) might be horrified by such a use of her song only strengthens the argument that the movie is criticising it.

    Such cases are going to be very rare. It’s hard to think up cases where a moviemaker would succeed. But if the principle we’re talking about were adopted by the courts, it would allow some freedom to attack messages in songs by this kind of ironic juxtaposition. You’d have to show it was fair and reasonable by showing such things as that there was a serious message in the song that was worthwhile debating, that you really did use it in such a way that what you did amounted to attack or critical comment on the song’s message, and that it wasn’t just a contrivance to allow you to play the song as theme music without paying (e.g. you’d have to show that you used it to the briefest extent that was reasonably practical for your critical purpose).

    There would be few clear-cut cases, but from all descriptions this actually is one.

    It strikes me that if the Expelled people succeed in court, rather than settling out of court (as will probably happen), the other side might live to regret it. Both sides could make use of such a precedent – ours more than theirs, I suspect.

    I still think this is the wrong issue to attack the Expelled gang over, when there’s so much else wrong with the cinematic monstrosity that they’ve perpetrated. However, life is short and maybe there are already cases that are on point one way or the other. I’m surprised that no one has found one yet. Any cases that have been mentioned so far easily distinguishable. I don’t have time to research it, so I think I’ll probably leave it at that.

  150. #150 Russell Blackford
    April 23, 2008

    Oh, and “alter the value” doesn’t mean something like “attack the message”. It means something more like “grab a share of the available market”. But there I will leave it as other things call out to me.

  151. #151 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Avant-garde = devoid of talent, unless you consider screeching and skittery mouse-noises to be “art”.

    Take a fucking art history class, ignoramus.

    Care to tell us about some of her “films”?

    One of them was mentioned in passing already, in one of my posts upthread. They were made on “celluloid” and projected on “movie screens” you jackass. Please, do us all a favor, and testify on behalf of the plaintiffs.

    Yoko Ono continues to be more than just the widow of an artist. She was an artist whose success and accomplishments were as attractive to Lennon as his was to her. Their life together was a work of art, and continues to be, no matter who pisses on it, especially for religious purposes.

    War is over, if you want it.

  152. #152 Lulu
    April 23, 2008

    Forgive me, but the denizens of digg should make this explode in popularity.

    http://digg.com/general_sciences/Yoko_Ono_Sues_Expelled_Filmmakers_2

    I think this is a triumph for proponents of integrity in fact-finding.

  153. #153 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    was to her/were to her

  154. #154 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Russell Blackford,

    it would allow some freedom to attack messages in songs by this kind of ironic juxtaposition

    When the same message can be communicated by employing a recognizable arrangement instead of the way more expensive needle-drop, with its troublesome permissions issues, the only reason to push the well-defined legal envelope is to invite the publicity of a legal dispute. “help, help, I’m being repressed! See the violence inherent in the system!”

    The cash they’re prepared to hemorrhage would appear to fit in with their Plains Indian Potlatch approach to getting their message out; they have the courage of their convictions and money to burn.

  155. #155 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    #151, re: “Take a fucking art history class, ignoramus.”

    Here’s some art history. Enjoy the, uh, art. There are reasons to dislike her work (at least the so-called musical part) without needing to resort to racism, the Beatles breakup, ad hominems or anything about her personally. I’m sure she’s a good human being, but if you can get through that video at even medium volume without clawing your own face off, or that of one near and dear to you, you’re a better man than I.

  156. #156 llanitedave
    April 23, 2008

    SC (#7) “Can someone please explain the reason for the widespread hostility toward Yoko Ono? I’ve never understood it.

    She can’t sing, she’s a temperamental prima-dona artistic type, and she “broke up the Beatles”.

    In some circles, that’s right up there with “They killed Jesus”.

  157. #157 Glen Davidson
    April 23, 2008

    Here’s an example I ran across while arguing this issue on Talkorigins. I’m cross-posting my comments from there:

    Here’s a case revealing what a lawyer advised one movie producer:

    Stay Free!: There’s a scene where a woman’s cell phone rings and she has the “Rocky” theme ring tone. I noticed that you even cleared that! I would have thought that could be an example of fair use.

    Sewell: I thought so too. It’s only six seconds! But our lawyer said we needed to clear it. So I called Sprint, which owns the ring tone master rights, and they gave it to me for free because they saw it as product placement. But then I called EMI, which owns the publishing rights and they asked for $10,000. I said no way–even the classics weren’t getting that much. Luckily, we were able to get it for less.

    Stay Free!: How much did it cost for the average song?

    Sewell: It depends on how many entities are attached to it. Our typical total cost for a classic was about $15,000-20,000, split between publisher and master rights. With the Rocky theme, the publishers didn’t want to overexpose the song. That was the issue with Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack” as well.

    blog.stayfreemagazine.org/2005/06/mad_hot_ballroo.html

    Supposing this lawyer advised correctly, the only other defense that I could think “Expelled” might have is that this is criticism or parody of the work “Imagine”. Yet I can’t see how either of those would fly, for there is no actual parody (only an attempted contrast between what Lennon imagined, and what they portray as the reality of irreligion), nor is it a criticism of the work itself. It criticizes the ideas of Lennon, but it is not the ideas that are copyrighted, only the form in which those ideas are presented is copyrighted.

    I’d add now that Yoko Ono would have concerns about overexposure just as the copyright owners to the “Rocky” theme song would. I think this is one reason why copying even short bits of songs would weigh against “fair use”.

    Glen Davidson
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  158. #158 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 23, 2008

    Their film was SUPERB,

    Essentially every single review (that I’ve seen, and honestly I can only comment on what I’ve seen) not by a staunch ID supporter or religious fundamentalist has been extremely negative. This includes those not involved in the day to day internet back and forth on ID creationism vs. Evolution, but movie reviewers and other journalists. The reviews have been negative not just on the content but the creative aspects of the movie. Hardly “SUPURB”.

    their advertising was SUPERB,

    I’d far from call it “SUPURB” (nor would I capitalize the word every time I used it). Good yes. But that’s all the ID movement has ever been. A giant PR campaign full of bluster but lacking in substance. So they’re well practiced in the art of deceptive or at least misleading advertising.

    their response to XVIVO’s claims was exactly right.

    Right, if you mean pulling the animation pre-release, but I fear that’s not what you meant. Honestly how did you even write that section without busting out into laughter or curling up on the floor in shame?

    They have a perfect right to comment on 10-15 seconds of the Lennon song, and it is out of line to call them “thieves” for doing that which their legal counsel assured them would be acceptable under the doctrine of fair use.

    From the clips I’ve seen they aren’t commenting on the song. They are using it as a weapon against the scientists they had just interviewed. The movie isn’t marketed as a documentary on how songs from decades ago caused the Nazis to exterminate Jews and then led to [self perceived] persecution of those wanting to teach an unproven non-theory. The assertion that they were being critical of the song doesn’t hold water, and was more than likely thought up in response to the lawsuit or at least in response to the threat of lawsuit. That of course leads to me calling them thieves. They stole the Animation by plagiarizing it, they stole the song Imagine by not getting permission to use it, the mislead the Killers for their song, and they lied to the those they interviewed for the film, essentially stealing their time, name and reputation for their own purposes.

    Fail.

  159. #159 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Here’s some art history. Enjoy the, uh, art.

    You flunk. “Why” was produced way after the period to which I was referring. The success as an Avant-Garde artist to which I referred was years earlier than what you posted; that she was successful and accomplished before she and Lennon met each other is not factually assailable. Otherwise, de gustibus non est disputandum.

  160. #160 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    #159 – What you seemed to be getting your shorts your shorts in a twist over was that she’s a creechy howler; that is all I was demonstrating. I don’t know what she did before that, nor could care less.

  161. #161 Glen Davidson
    April 23, 2008

    It criticizes the ideas of Lennon, but it is not the ideas that are copyrighted, only the form in which those ideas are presented is copyrighted.

    I’d like to add to those comments of mine by saying that only in vaguest sense are they even criticizing Lennon’s ideas. Essentially they’re just generally disagreeing with his general disparagement of religion, not at all making a direct criticism of even the words he used.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  162. #162 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    I doubled-posted “your shorts” for some reason. Must be shorts of ideas. :^p

  163. #163 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    She can’t sing, she’s a temperamental prima-dona artistic type, and she “broke up the Beatles”.

    Some might argue that “breaking up The Beatles” is a work of art in itself. I wouldn’t, though. They quit while they were ahead, and pursued solo careers as individual artists. Who broke up the Beatles? The Walrus was Paul.

    Clue Number 6! “Paul’s been killed in a bloody car crash!”

  164. #164 J. D. Mack
    April 23, 2008

    Does anyone know if they licensed both the composition and the recording of “All Along The Watchtower” that is played during the opening credits? Getting a Dylan song for a movie can be fairly costly – if one actually bothers to get the license. And does anyone know which string quartet is playing it? They are not identified in the end credits.

    J. D.

  165. #165 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    #160:

    Criticism of what she sounded like on mike is not what got my shorts in a twist. Nobody disputes the profound screechiness of her howling. I pointed to a beautiful example of it already in post #40. Her shrieking into a mike is what she is remembered for even by the most ignorant of slackers (your demonstrated capacity to research and link excepted), but is not at all what made her notorious enough to attract John Lennon’s attention. Apparently, part of the attraction is that she didn’t need John.

  166. #166 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    Perhaps I have better things to do with my brainspace than waste it on pretentious garbage. If failing to study every tinhorn brush-pusher who gold-plated a dog turd knowing a blustering crowd of artyfarties would proclaim it “deep” in the hopes they would get laid makes me an “ignorant slacker” then I wear the term with pride. :^p

  167. #167 reuben
    April 23, 2008

    if you can get through that video at even medium volume without clawing your own face off, or that of one near and dear to you, you’re a better man than

    Maybe that’s the point… you don’t have to enjoy art for it to be art.

    Anyway, enough about the art already, whether or not she was a ‘good’ artist surely has no bearing on the issue of the Expelled producers breaking copyright law…

  168. #168 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    Perhaps I have better things to do with my brainspace than waste it on pretentious garbage.

    Perhaps. My primary point was that only an ignoramus would claim, as in #142, that Avant-garde = devoid of talent. Whatever one thinks of early sixties conceptual art, Yoko Ono screeching does not define it, nor was her contribution to that scene, pre-Lennon, negligible.

  169. #169 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    OK, now that I went over the top, I’ll go read up on Yoko Ono’s early work, you can have your rebuttal if you like (feel free to engage in an hominems…) and then I hope we can give peace a chance. :^)

  170. #170 Sioux Laris
    April 23, 2008

    People (e.g. Kevin D. above) confirm my discomfort with the overwhelmingly barren middle-class American tastes which seem comfortably numb at this site. If he didn’t feel acute embarrassment at his opinions, I doubt they would be so absurdly strong and bitter, and pretentious.

    It’s o.k., Kevinlike people! You are never going to be forced to challenge your imagination! After all, you KNOW what you LIKE.

    All disrespect intended.

  171. #171 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    And does anyone know which string quartet is playing it? They are not identified in the end credits.

    Needle drops are way more expensive than covers. Sheet music is readily licensed and the fees are comparatively cheap. Even the slightest snippet of copyrighted music generally shows up in the credits, if only to cross promote Expelled: the Soundtrack! (another lost marketing opportunity). If, however, this is yet another misappropriated needle drop, it makes a case for willful negligence and copyright violation a slam dunk, consistent with the amateur hour performance of all concerned (Edmonson’s crew excepted, of course).

  172. #172 Kevin Dorner
    April 23, 2008

    I was called an “ignorant slacker” for not knowing about Yoko Ono’s earlier work. This again did not whatsoever invalidate that the video I linked to was creechy and horrible. That was the only point I wanted to make. And I’m not American either.

    I suggest you check what “Pretentious” means before using it. “Expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature”. ie claiming that there’s something deep about creechy noise or (in the case of Jackson Pollock) randomly chucking paint all over a canvas that us poor unenlightened fools can’t grasp.

  173. #173 Jeffery S
    April 23, 2008

    Pretty sad it took abuse from bloggers to get Yoyo to act. Accusing her of a sellout was a mistake, if they’d offered her money she would of taken it, their mistake. Now she’ll give them free publicity and lose in court, kind of like the cell animation bit. Sad.
    Ben Stein’s initials are BS

  174. #174 Ichthyic
    April 23, 2008

    Edmonson’s crew excepted, of course

    I don’t think his work was actually included in the final cut of the film, AFAIK.

    Edmonson’s crew was indeed excepted.

    :p

  175. #175 Ichthyic
    April 23, 2008

    Now she’ll give them free publicity and lose in court, kind of like the cell animation bit.

    lose?

    uh, they stripped the plagiarized cell animation from the final cut, which is exactly what XVIVO and Harvard asked them to do.

    too late for them to strip the plagiarized music out, though.

    what makes you think she will lose?

  176. #176 Ken Cope
    April 23, 2008

    I was called an “ignorant slacker”

    Unless your name is also “Some Dude,” you were most certainly not called an ignorant slacker. You have only failed, so far, to get a good grade in art history. Feel free to resubmit your work.

  177. #177 Ichthyic
    April 23, 2008

    “ignorant slacker” then I wear the term with pride.

    just remember, if you wear your ignorance with pride, then you really can’t complain when people mock you for it.

  178. #178 Jeffery S
    April 23, 2008

    They didn’t cut shit, look at their promo dvd, its the same shit I saw in the theater. NO cuts, where you getting your info?

    Why do I think she’ll lose, because they have the same lawyers at BORAT! no kidding. These guys are into making money and saving their asses, don’t think they’d slip up by forgetting to get the rights to the #5 song of ALL TIME ( according to Rolling Stone Mag) I don’t think it was a Josh Tesh of Imagine

  179. #179 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 23, 2008

    They didn’t cut shit

    Are you saying the XVIVO animation is still in the film?

  180. #180 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    This again did not whatsoever invalidate that the video I linked to was creechy and horrible.

    May I again, please, violently agree that the video you linked to was screechy? The points we are each making are orthogonal to each other’s, at best. Being “not American” should raise, not lower, the bar for reading comprehension.

    As for your reduction of what she did to “pretentiousness” I’ll just quote some of the immortal Frank Zappa:

    The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively–because, without this humble appliance, you can’t know where The Art stops and The Real World begins. You have to put a ‘box’ around it because otherwise, what is that shit on the wall?

    If John Cage, for instance, says “I’m putting a contact microphone on my throat, and I’m going to drink carrot juice, and that’s my composition, ” then his gurgling qualifies as his composition because he put a frame around it and said so.” Take it or leave it, I now will this to be music. After that it’s a matter of taste. Without the frame-as-announced, it’s a guy swallowing carrot juice.

    So, if music is the best, what is music? Anything can be music, but it doesn’t become music until someone wills it to be music, and the audience listening to it decides to perceive it as music. Most people can’t deal with that abstraction–or don’t want to. They say: “Gimme the tune. Do I like this tune? Does it sound like another tune that I like? The more familiar it is, the better I like it. Hear those three notes there? Those are the three notes I can sing along with. I like those notes very, very much. Give me a beat. Not a fancy one. Give me a GOOD BEAT–something I can dance to. It has to go boom-bap, boom-boom BAP. If it doesn’t, I will hate it very, very much. Also I want it right away–and then, write me some more songs like that–over and over and over again, because I’m really into music.

  181. #181 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    I’m saying it never was in the film. The issue was that these morons COPIED the XVIVO version and got their own animation guy to do it. If they ever had the XVIVO version in the film, I never saw it, maybe you did at some early screening, but the promo dvd shows a version that is not exactly XVIVO but very close.
    You really think they pulled 1000+ prints and reprinted. I don’t think so, that would cost more than they pulled in.

  182. #182 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    They didn’t cut shit, look at their promo dvd, its the same shit I saw in the theater.

    when you saw it in the theater, was it a private showing; before the release?

    Are they still releasing their promo DvD’s?

    ’cause, dude, you didn’t see the final cut:

    http://endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com/2008/04/second-expelled-copyright-case-resolved.html

    care to try again?

  183. #183 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    You really think they pulled 1000+ prints and reprinted. I don’t think so, that would cost more than they pulled in.

    no, it really wouldn’t.

    estimates at the time were that it wold cost somewhere between 100 and 200K.

    …and it’s exactly what they did.

    sorry you seem to be so misinformed, but it ain’t our fault.

    now what were you saying again about how Yoko would lose the case just like Xvivo did?

    ROFLMAO

  184. #184 Patricia C.
    April 24, 2008

    Thankyou #134 & 135. Chivalry is not dead on this list!
    #7 asked a perfectly good question.
    #13 answered truthfully – in the vein of the times.
    #60 chimes in…then, me at #84.
    If our remarks were not in any way correct or racist, PZ would have issued a warning. Holbach would have gutted us.
    History isn’t always pretty. This thread took many hours to develope… now compare it to 2000+ years of myths.

  185. #185 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    nice link ( must be true)I don’t care who you believe.
    I’m telling you the version I saw, matched the promo DVD. The promo dvd was created early 08. If you don’t believe me ask fucking XVIVO. Premise media counter sued in Texas, and that was all she wrote. Same fate for Yoyo. You can dream or believe what you like, but if you do I suggest you get a job at the discovery institute!

  186. #186 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    I’ll just quote some of the immortal Frank Zappa:

    dark, hard, dark rubber wheels…

    Roll, skreek! Roll, skreek! Roll, skreek!

    *sniff*

    I miss that boy.

  187. #187 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 24, 2008

    I’m saying it never was in the film. The issue was that these morons COPIED the XVIVO version and got their own animation guy to do it. If they ever had the XVIVO version in the film, I never saw it, maybe you did at some early screening, but the promo dvd shows a version that is not exactly XVIVO but very close.

    Ok I should have been more specific because the XVIVO was so similar to the copied version that I consider them to be essentially the same. As in they stole it.

    Are you saying that the nearly identical plagiarized version is still in the film that was released to the theaters?

  188. #188 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    Premise media counter sued in Texas, and that was all she wrote.

    I’m wondering if seeing this film permanently damaged your brain.

    Premise media removed the video that plagiarized Xvivo’s Inner Cell from the final cut of the film that was distributed to commercial theaters for release.

    It’s as simple as that. Whether it still remains on promo DVD clips is an entirely different issue.

    Moreover, it’s exactly why I asked if the version you saw in a theater was one of the “invited” screenings, as they didn’t pull the footage until just before final release.

    Premise media counter sued in Texas

    uh huh.

    why don’t you tell us what happened to that counter suit, if you would be so kind?

    I’m curious to see just how wrong you wish to remain. It’s actually amusing me this evening.

  189. #189 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 24, 2008

    I’ll just quote some of the immortal Frank Zappa:

    Nice! Two separate people quoting Frank Zappain the same thread. Gotta love it!

  190. #190 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    Are you saying that the nearly identical plagiarized version is still in the film that was released to the theaters?

    No, it wasn’t. Jeffrey hasn’t the slightest clue what he’s on about.

  191. #191 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    Well in my mind they “still stole it” its the same thing, but traced over with different paper if you will. The whole cell animation is NOT exact but the 7seconds that XVIVO is claiming they plagiarized is exact. They (XVIVO) spent a ton of cash researching the details of the cell and created a master piece to show us all, these clowns swoop in and trace over their work and make 3 mil opening weekend. Pretty brutal, and very survival of the ruthless for people who don’t believe in evolution

  192. #192 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 24, 2008

    No, it wasn’t.

    Oh I know it wasn’t. There’s that saying “Give them enough rope…”

  193. #193 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    Roll, skreek! Roll, skreek! Roll, skreek!

    You can’t fool me, boss. That’s Captain Beefheart!

    Opaque melodies that would bug most people.

  194. #194 sparc
    April 24, 2008

    And does anyone know which string quartet is playing it?

    I guess it is the Kronos Quartett. A few tracks are available at youtube.

    BTW, how many of you hypocrits still live together with their first girl friends? So could you please stop mentioning this “she split up the Beatles” bullshit and treat Yoko Ono with some respect?

  195. #195 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    What happened in the counter sue, XVIVO shut the fuck up. Premise won asshole.
    Do you know how the film industry works? NO! You can’t just cut something out, like its a research paper. Each film print takes days to finish and cost 1K each. They had 1000. Don’t they pulled them. Anyways before I argue further, what facts do you have other than links to blabber websites. You are starting to sound like a 5th day creationist, worse than a 6th day

  196. #196 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    The whole cell animation is NOT exact

    It really doesn’t have to be for it to be an obvious case of plagiarism.

    A case which Premise media defacto lost when they decided to remove it, btw (which was also AFTER they filed their counter suit).

    are we clear now?

    it sounds like it.

    I still would like to know if it was an invited screening or the commercial release you saw.

    There is of course a chance that individual theaters are using an unapproved release of the film for commercial use, which would end up having all production companies involved coming down on them like a ton of bricks, most likely.

  197. #197 Jim Lippard
    April 24, 2008

    I heard from several people who went to see “Expelled” (I didn’t) that the footage copied from XVIVO is still there.

    I haven’t heard anyone who has gone to see it confirm that it isn’t.

    The last I heard about the Texas suit for declaratory judgment was that XVIVO had not been served with papers.

  198. #198 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    Sorry to keep forgetting to tell you my screening info
    I saw it on W42nd in Manhattan. It was a theater, no private screenings came to New York that I’m aware of. The cell animation was the best part. Anyone know if the music was the same as the XVIVO version. I actually liked the music.
    So call the theater, because I am telling you its an unapproved version.

  199. #199 Left_Wing_Fox
    April 24, 2008

    Some quick notes from the bowels of the entertainment industry:

    Fair Use is a defense against copyright, not a magical charm versus lawyers. Being that this was done in a for-profit film, arguing that it was a scholarly comparison is likely not going to fly. That’ll be up to a judge to decide. (I recall “The Corporation” made hay over the licensing costs of “Happy Birthday”. They weren’t dumb enough to actually play the unlicensed song.)

    “Moral Rights” don’t even come into play here. Had the song been licensed and then used in a way the estate found inappropriate, then that would be a moral rights issue. The problem is that it wasn’t licensed AT ALL.

  200. #200 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    XVIVO shut the fuck up. Premise won asshole.

    well, since we can now include colorful language in our communications, I’ll be sure to oblige in kind.

    The countersuit by Premise was filed in order to attempt to argue against damages, which neither Harvard nor Xvivo ended up seeking (nor could Xvivo actually afford to even pursue – it’s a tiny little company). All Xvivo wanted was for the offending video segment to be removed, and it was.

    what part of:

    THE FOOTAGE WAS REMOVED FOR THE FINAL RELEASE, did you not understand?

    here, why don’t you link to the transcript of the court case where Premise media WON and left the footage in the movie, eh?

    You really do have brain damage, and it worries me a bit.

    I still have that one honest question left for you:

    I still would like to know if it was an invited screening or the commercial release you saw.

    did you see the film before it was released for commercial consumption last week?

    that would explain why the plagiarized Xvivo vid was still there.

    If not, there’s only two explanations, since Premise media did indeed remove that footage because of the lawsuit from Xvivo.

    -the theatre you saw it at is using an unapproved release for commercial showing (a big no-no)

    -you’re a fucking moron.

    based on your posts so far, I lean strongly towards the latter.

  201. #201 Jim Lippard
    April 24, 2008

    BTW, I agree with Russell Blackford’s argument. A 10-second clip used in a critical context should constitute fair use. (I also disagree with the 6th Circuit’s ruling in Bridgeport Music v. Dimension Films that there is no de minimis use of songs that doesn’t require licensing, and with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Eldred v. Ashcroft that continued extensions of the term of copyright are consistent with the constitutional purpose of copyright and do not exceed Congress’ powers or violate the First Amendment.)

  202. #202 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    AGAIN
    I paid money to see Expelled, yes haha laugh it up. Does that answer your question. It was NOT a private screening. There were trailers before the film and I even had popcorn. Funny thing, they actually handed out barf bags for the movie, I suggest you take one.

    Anyways if XVIVO thought Expelled was using their version they are wrong. Maybe they did 6 months ago in early screenings, BUT the version since 08 of the cell animation has been the one I saw in the theaters.
    So I guess you are right, they did cut out XVIVO’s version, but it was my understanding that XVIVO was suing because they copied not used their version. I may be wrong though, if so I concede.

  203. #203 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    I’ve used this Kronos Quartet piece for a music bed to cut to on one of my early demo reels, without paying them, but it probably didn’t help me get any work. Anybody who watches animation reels turns the sound down, so nobody else heard it, either.

    What court will waive needle drop fees on the grounds that they were used in a documentary? I don’t think their atrocity documents what they think it does.

  204. #204 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    Also
    I take it you never saw the film?

  205. #205 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    So I guess you are right, they did cut out XVIVO’s version, but it was my understanding that XVIVO was suing because they copied not used their version. I may be wrong though, if so I concede.

    there is still some confusion here.

    Xvivos vids were not used in Expelled.

    Instead, the video clip under contention was copied directly from Xvivo’s “Inner Cell” video, and minor changes were made to hide the fact. There are many threads on various sites which show the relevant bits for comparison purposes, which you can find yourself with just a little digging. Here, ERV’s site, Dawkins site, several others.

    Xvivo sued for plagiarism for that version of the video, and won last month, as Premise Media agreed to remove it from the commercial release of the film. These are facts, not supposition.

    there is a thread on this very site (and on ERV’s) that covers what amounts to a SLAPP suit from Premise Media in response to Xvivo’s suit, which details the entire suit, point by point, as well as why Premise filed it in Texas as opposed to, say, where Premise is actually located.

    Did Premise add back in a completely different vid at the last second?

    I don’t know. Maybe they did. but it wasn’t the clip under discussion here, or on ERV’s site, or in the suit filed by Xvivo.

    at this point, I’d say just read the fucking suits yourself, learn exactly what clip is being discussed in the suit, and then we can figure out if it really is the same clip under discussion.

    Otherwise, if it really IS the same clip as was defined in the Xvivo lawsuit, there’s an obvious problem. Even as badly as Premise media has bungled this thing along the way, it would surprise me to find that various theaters are showing the wrong copy of the film.

    That said, Premise Media’s “counter suit” is nothing more than a SLAPP; nothing more than a nuisance suit, and does not relate to the decision they had already made (because of the Xvivo suit) to remove the contested animation.

  206. #206 Jeffery S
    April 24, 2008

    agreed.

  207. #207 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    I take it you never saw the film?

    the version I saw (well, the parts where I wasn’t gagging in disgust, anyway) did NOT have the clip under discussion in it, but I did not see it in a commercial theater in NY, either.

    Like i said, it is possible that multiple versions are floating around out there, but there really shouldn’t be.

    This much IS clear:

    -Premise Media DID agree to remove the footage from the commercial release.
    -Versions without the relevant footage have been seen.
    -Premise Media’s countersuit had nothing to do with them agreeing to remove the footage
    -Premise Media are a bunch of dishonest fucking scumbags, so I suppose really nothing should surprise me.

  208. #208 MTran
    April 24, 2008

    What “counter suit” are people referring to? I could have easily missed it, but I wasn’t aware that XVIVO (or Harvard) had actually filed a complaint. I thought they had simply sent a cease and desist letter.

    IIRC, Premise filed a weird complaint, which apparently has yet to be served. Unless it is properly served, it’s going nowhere. Is it this complaint that is being referred to? If so, it is not a counter suit.

  209. #209 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    Is it this complaint that is being referred to? If so, it is not a counter suit.

    you are correct, it has been filed, but it is not a proper counter suit.

    http://endogenousretrovirus.blogspot.com/2008/04/premise-lawsuits-toddler-animations-and.html

    the reason i refer to it as a “counter suit” is more because it was in response to the actions by Xvivo, not because it has that legal designation.

  210. #210 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    “Moral Rights” don’t even come into play here. Had the song been licensed and then used in a way the estate found inappropriate, then that would be a moral rights issue. The problem is that it wasn’t licensed AT ALL.

    I’d be surprised if only Lennon’s copyright was violated with uncompensated needledrops. The Killers would appear to have a moral rights issue then, but don’t appear to care to defend it.

    The take-home from all this legal posturing is that none of these issues are cut and dried. It will come down to what the courts decide, not what the courts should decide WRT the larger issues. Russell Blackford and the Stanford project may be able to make much better arguments than the Expelled co-conspirators are capable of. It’s going to be rather difficult for this gang to demonstrate noble intent as honest documentarians, as documented on this very blog, at least. I would not want the legal status of fair use to hang on the litigation that will surround this film.

  211. #211 BlindSquirrel
    April 24, 2008

    Ken Cope wrote:

    The cash they’re prepared to hemorrhage would appear to fit in with their Plains Indian Potlatch approach to getting their message out…

    The Plains Indians did not practice potlach. This was the practice of the Pacific Northwest Indians,

  212. #212 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    The Plains Indians did not practice potlach.

    Thanks for the correction. I’ll bet if I lived further up the Pacific Coast I wouldn’t have made such an error.

    I hope you’ll agree though, that the analogy is still apt.

  213. #213 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    This was the practice of the Pacific Northwest Indians,

    and damn fine potlaches they are, too!

    I went to one in Haines, Alaska when I was there back in the 80’s, and still use the recipe for BBQ King Salmon I learned there to this day.

    I do believe I actually managed to scarf down about 4lbs of BBQ salmon that day.

  214. #214 Liz
    April 24, 2008

    Uh, Ichthyic, to get your information from fellow bloggers is not how you should be backing your arguments. Kinda like the old game of “telephone.”

    The FACTS are not reported in comments on PZ’s, ERV’s or anone else’s blogs.

    Either see the movie itself, and compare the to the actual XVIVO footage, or stop claiming you know the truth.

    That goes for the use of “Imagine.” Actually find out EXACTLY how it is used, and how much before you go off half-cocked. Not someone else’s report of it.

    It is impossible that Premise took out any footage (from XVIVO) based upon the lawsuit, as that was sent only one week prior to release. This is not enough time to remaster over 1,000 copies of the film. Period. If the XVIVO version doesn’t appear in the movie (which I HAVE seen and it doesn’t), then it wasn’t in the final cut, which was prior to the lawsuit.

    You have a much stronger argument if you get your facts straight before you open your mouth.

  215. #215 MTran
    April 24, 2008

    Ichthyic @208,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    These Expectorated guys are so slimy, no foul thing they could come up with would surprise me at this point.

  216. #216 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    Either see the movie itself, and compare the to the actual XVIVO footage, or stop claiming you know the truth.

    -Premise media themselves reported removing the footage.

    -I have seen the movie (as stated in my post) and the version I saw had the footage removed.

    The FACTS are not reported in comments on PZ’s, ERV’s or anone else’s blogs.

    and you would know that… how? did you look?

    This is not enough time to remaster over 1,000 copies of the film

    you need to look at when Xvivo first filed the cease and desist letter, NOT when Premise filed the “SLAPP” in Texas (which was the date you are thinking is a week before the release).

    since we’re supposedly randomly assuming stuff, how do you know that they didn’t already have versions that didn’t include the footage ready to go?

    Moreover, there were discussions about the footage’s plagiaristic nature amongst the producers long before the film’s release, and they knew from Bill Dembski (who had been earlier popped for using the Xvivo footage itself) that there could be an issue.

    These ARE facts, which you can find for yourself, even on Dembski’s own blog.

    You have a much stronger argument if you get your facts straight before you open your mouth.

    indeed, right back at ya.

    why is it you didn’t even bother to look at the details of this case, but instead assume that it was impossible to remove the footage?

    It’s not, and it was. simple as that.

    funny, but all i see coming from you is gross assumption, instead of actually looking at what was filed when, by who, and who did what.

    somebody has their facts wrong, alrighty, but it ain’t me darlin’.

  217. #217 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    …and, one more time, for the reading impaired.

    there never was ANY footage in the film FROM Xvivo.

    that’s never what was at issue.

    what happened is they copied the video “The Inner Cell” using an independent production company (who shall remain nameless) so closely from the original Xvivo video produced for Harvard, that it was an obvious case of plagiarism.

    Yeesh, talk about “not getting your facts straight”.

  218. #218 Josh
    April 24, 2008

    Scote back at 102…

    The US does have Moral Rights beyond copyright law. We are signatories to the Berne Conventions, those got them in the door here. Many different moral rights have been upheld by US courts. Moral rights here aren’t quite as strong as they are in europe. Here most can be signed away with a contract and money changing hands, over there many of them can be inherited. We don’t understand them or think about them but they are a valid extension of our copyright law.

    As far as this case I have no comment on the merits but hope Yoko gets her pound of flesh.

  219. #219 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    oh, and as long as we are on the “reliability” of blogs, would you say that you do or do not find PZ’s reviews of peer reviewed science “reliable in information”. He has his own opinions about things not clearly spelled out in the papers, but in 3 years I have yet to see him make an error of fact in reporting the papers themselves.

    It’s not exactly a fucking gossip mill around these parts, nor is it on ERV’s blog, for that matter.

    next, you’ll be trying to tell me Peter Irons didn’t show up here, on this very blog, to detail what was going into the letter filed on Xvivo’s behalf.

  220. #220 G. Tingey
    April 24, 2008

    #7 etc anti-Yoko feelings.

    She broke up the Beatles.
    She manged to piss-off Macca
    She’s talentless.
    She’s almost as greedy as Heather Mills …..

    Very Bad and un-PC Old Brit late 60’s joke:
    “What comes in a yellow bag?”
    “John Lennon”

  221. #221 Liz
    April 24, 2008

    Ichthyic,

    “somebody has their facts wrong, alrighty, but it ain’t me darlin’.”

    See, what did I tell you? I am not a “darlin'” (female.)

    You can’t believe everything you read here.

  222. #222 Liz
    April 24, 2008

    Re: #215

    “-Premise media themselves reported removing the footage.”

    Uh, no. They never said they REMOVED the footage from the film. They only said it was not IN the film. Important distinction.

    “since we’re supposedly randomly assuming stuff, how do you know that they didn’t already have versions that didn’t include the footage ready to go?”

    Because I didn’t assume anything. I contacted the entity listed in the credits for “Film Duplication” and asked about the costs involved in a single copy of a film that they might theoretically be reproducing, as well as how much lead time they needed in order to make copies if a film was modified.

    Horse’s mouth vs. Horse’s ass.

    I don’t disagree with your argument, only how you go about propping it up.

    Need I remind you of the “scientific method?”

  223. #223 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    You can’t believe everything you read here.

    oh yes, of course because you use the handle “liz”, and I mistook that into thinking you a female, that means of course that every thing posted on any blog, anywhere, is suspect.

    that’s some great logic you got going there.

    I’d suggest you quit before you dig yourself an ever deeper hole, but that’s just me. I’m sure others would be highly amused to see you continue to apply the same logic.

    As for me, it’s late, and I’ve had enough of this merry-go-round for one night.

  224. #224 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    I contacted the entity listed in the credits for “Film Duplication” and asked about the costs involved in a single copy of a film that they might theoretically be reproducing, as well as how much lead time they needed in order to make copies if a film was modified.

    talking about not believing everything one reads on the internet…

    Need I remind you of the “scientific method?”

    hardly.

    Need I point out its complete irrelevance to what we are talking about?

    oh wait, I guess i do.

    enough.

  225. #225 Ichthyic
    April 24, 2008

    one last clarification.

    Uh, no. They never said they REMOVED the footage from the film. They only said it was not IN the film. Important distinction.

    it’s a distinction that does not exist except in your own mind.

  226. #226 Liz
    April 24, 2008

    Ooohh, Snap! You got me.

    We shall see the facts revealed, as was the stringent knowledge of the authorship of the BTB video.

    Puleez.

  227. #227 csrster
    April 24, 2008

    I always bought into the “weird & creepy” stereotype of Yoko until I heard her chatting on the BBC Radio 4 show “Loose Ends” a couple of years ago and she was actually rather warm and funny.

  228. #228 Rob Hinkley
    April 24, 2008

    ROFL-inducing bit from the article:

    [The producers said] “We are disappointed therefore that Yoko Ono and others have decided to challenge our free speech right to comment on the song ‘Imagine’ in our documentary film”

    They were commenting on the song? Truly, ‘Expelled’ is the film about everything: it’s a science film, all about academia, and politics, and popular songs…

  229. #229 bassmanpete
    April 24, 2008

    I agree with comment #114. The Beatles were on their way to splitting up with or without Yoko. I see the problem as being that John took her to rehearsals/recording sessions without asking the others. Every group/band I ever played in had a rule – NO girlfriends, wives, family members, etc. at rehearsals. So the fact that Yoko was Asian had nothing to do with it. If Paul had brought Linda, George brought Patti, or Ringo brought Maureen, the other three would have been equally pissed off.

    As for The Beatles being overrated, I think it’s easy for younger people, who have the benefit of being able to listen to everything that’s been recorded since The Beatles heyday (much of it influenced by them BTW), to make that comment. If you’d been around at the time you might appreciate the huge difference they made. Sure, there were better musicians around, and you might prefer The Who, or The Stones, or whoever; but The Beatles paved the way for all of them.

    And probably nobody will even see this comment, being down at two hundred & whatever!

  230. #230 Zarquon
    April 24, 2008

    If it weren’t for the Beatles, no one would have ever heard of fookin’ Oasis.

  231. #231 MikeD
    April 24, 2008

    If anyone is in Burlington, Vermont on Friday, they can ask Ben himself about it.

    http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080424/LIVING/804240305
    Ben Stein to speak at UVM on Friday
    Author, actor, lawyer, economist and humorist Ben Stein will speak at the University of Vermont on Friday, a week after his controversial film on intelligent design opened in Burlington.

    Sponsored by the school of business administration as part of its ongoing lecture series, Stein was invited to speak because of his status as both a popular culture icon and a highly respected economist, said Rocki-Lee DeWitt, dean of the school.

    “When we issued the invitation in September, it had been based on the fact that he is a noted economist who has done presentations at other colleges because of his perspectives on markets and how they affect our lives,” DeWitt said.

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. It has been widely challenged by the mainstream scientific community.

    The talk, called “Ben Stein on Life,” could cover just about anything, she said.

    “I don’t think it’s appropriate when you invite a speaker to identify what’s off bounds. My sense is, if he brings (intelligent design) up, he will scan his audience and be precise and concise. It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to that.”

  232. #232 Jewel
    April 24, 2008

    Personally, as long as I don’t have to listen to her sing I have no problem with Yoko Ono. I loved the post Beatles stuff John Lennon did.

    As for the clip of Imagine, I don’t know enough about the Fair Use laws, but I’m interested in seeing how this plays out.

  233. #233 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 24, 2008

    …and, one more time, for the reading impaired.

    there never was ANY footage in the film FROM Xvivo.

    that’s never what was at issue.

    You and I said this how many times previous to Liz’s comments? Yes it was not XVIVO’s animation, but such a clear copy of their work it might as well have been. Hence the whole issue about it.

  234. #234 Left_Wing_Fox
    April 24, 2008

    Ken Cope: Yeah, that’s how it looks to me too.

    Anyways, “Fair Use” in this case is still an open question. I honestly think they overstepped fair use here.

    The scholarly exemption is to keep schools and students from having to pay licensing fees for non-profit works involving copyrighted material. This documentary is a for-profit movie that has paid to license other media (like the Killers song), yet chosen not to do so here. So Fair Use on scholarly grounds is likely a dead fish.

    Arguing that it’s a parody or satire _might_ get them out of it, had they vetted it with competent lawyers first. Given how dishonest the movie has been in presenting itself, and the copyright violation by creating an unattributed and obvious “derivative work” off XVIVO’s Inner life of the cell videos, I think that’s highly unlikely.

    Ultimately, this is a for-profit production with vaguely scholarly pretensions and utter cluelessness about copyright. They decided not to pay Yoko Ono the licensing fee for ideological reasons, hoping Fair Use would protect them. Whether it does or not is up to the courts.

    I can tell you that if I tried it, my company’s legal associate would have strongly advised me not to do it. With strong language. And strong arm-locks. While drinking strong beer to drown the stupid.

  235. #235 DaveX
    April 24, 2008

    For the record, Yoko Ono’s work in the avant-garde has been profoundly important. To think that she had accomplished a tremendous body of work as an Asian woman in the 50’s– far before any association with Lennon– is simply incredible.

    It’s also amusing that the so-called “screechy” video linked to earlier (Ono’s “Why”) is from her work with the Plastic Ono Band– among whose members were Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Phil Spector, Billy Preston, and Eric Clapton. Don’t forget, they’re backing HER up.

  236. #236 me
    April 24, 2008

    These ARE facts, which you can find for yourself, even on Dembski’s own blog.

    What? Dumb-ski’s blog contains facts? When did this happen?

  237. #237 Moggie
    April 24, 2008

    Raven @ 87:

    She helped break up the Beetles

    And we know who has an inordinate fondness for those, don’t we?

  238. #238 Suze
    April 24, 2008

    I suspect people hate Yoko Ono (and that 40-year-old controversy!) for exactly the same reason they currently hate Hillary Clinton, Martha Stewart, and Oprah Winfrey: she was and still is An Uppity Female. Lennon broke up his own marriage (and really, could you see Lennon still living with whiney domestic Cynthia?), and chose a much smarter and independent person to spend his life with. Ono was the better businessperson and has a great deal to do with maintaining his legend — and that includes this current legal action, even if it turns out to be nothing but registering an official complaint about the use of his atheistic piece in a religious movie, fair use or not.

    Comparing Ono’s and Lennon’s work is nonsensical; as far as I’m concerned, their only mistake was trying to combine the two styles occasionally. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”, with Lennon and Ono both singing, has survived a lot longer than some of the later Lennon Beatle pieces, incidentally.

  239. #239 phantomreader42
    April 24, 2008

    They’re basically painting the woman’s dead husband as a fucking NAZI. This is not fair use. This is not a parody. This is despicable, and they deserve to burn for it.

    What twisted mockeries of humanity these cretinists are. How can anyone with a conscience defend this shit? I guess we’ve already got an answer to that.

    Expelled: No Integrity Displayed.

  240. #240 Kseniya
    April 24, 2008

    1. “She broke up the Beatles.”

    Divergent personal growth, primarily between Lennon and McCartney, led to the dissolution of the band. Yoko was part and parcel of the changes in Lennon’s life, yes, but it does seem that pinning the breakup solely on her can only be accomplished if one ignores much of the truth of the matter.

    2. “She manged to piss-off Macca”

    Maybe so, but Macca managed to piss off Lennon, Starr, and Harrison with no assistance whatsoever from Yoko.

    3. “She’s talentless.”

    That depends on who you talk to. Lennon apparently thought otherwise, and he was not alone, for she did have the admiration of some art lovers, critics, and curators.

    With that said, I do understand that her records aren’t for everyone, and are allegedly best used for clearing rooms and ending parties. But music wasn’t her primary focus, which was conceptual and performance art. I confess that I am not familiar with her work, and thus have no personal opinion on it.

  241. #241 Darren
    April 24, 2008

    IANAL, but I’m not sure this would count as fair use. If you are making a movie about the evils of John Lennon’s music, then you obviously won’t get Yoko’s cooperation or permission even if you ask for it, but you should still have the right to include a clip of Imagine to illustrate your point… if you can’t do this then you can’t make the movie.

    However, Expelled is not about John Lennon… they don’t NEED to use a Lennon clip to illustrate their point…. Lennon’s music is a artistically-chosen stylistic ornament in the same way any other piece of music in a film is… and ergo it does NOT constitute fair use, no matter how brief it is (the brevity is not the issue).

    They asked for the Killers’ permission to use the closing credits tune (even then they had to lie about what they were doing), but they didn’t ask Yoko. They should have. They didn’t. Now they’re going to get raped in court. Too bad, so sad.

    That’s how I see it.

  242. #242 Liz
    April 24, 2008

    Re #233 & #217,

    Quoting #205 (Ichthyic)
    “Xvivo sued for plagiarism for that version of the video, and won last month, as Premise Media agreed to remove it from the commercial release of the film. These are facts, not supposition.”

    My comments were only directed towards the above statement.

    FACTS –
    1. XVIVO sued Premise Media for Copyright Infringement (not plagarism)
    2. The suit is still pending, nobody has won or lost
    3. Premise Media has counter-sued XVIVO for damages
    4. Premise Media was never going to use the original XVIVO footage in the film, hence the commissioned version which appears in the film.
    5. Premise Media used the original XVIVO footage in their “Resource DVD” materials.
    6. Premise Media had nothing to remove from the film, nor was there any “agreement” to remove it.

    These are researchable FACTS, which can be found in legal documents, not reports of events on blogs.

    My point was to do the due-diligence yourself before making claims. Thats it.

  243. #243 Susan
    April 24, 2008

    using the song “Imagine” in the documentary without permission.

    Hunh. They couldn’t even get the boring, legal, bureaucratic moviemaking part of making a movie right!

    I thought Yoko was way ahead of her time, and was very happy with John’s choice. I especially always loved her hilarious observations about penises. (Penii?)

  244. #244 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    1. XVIVO sued Premise Media for Copyright Infringement (not plagarism)

    Plagiarism is copyright infringement.

    4. Premise Media was never going to use the original XVIVO footage in the film, hence the commissioned version which appears in the film.

    Unwarranted speculation unless you have some factual basis for your claim. A commissioned plagiarized version of footage wrongfully appropriated in previews does not permit anybody to buy your bald assertion that they were never going to keep using it in the film. Your use of the word hence does not begin to make yours a logical statement.

    These are researchable FACTS,

    You are making shit up. Stop it.

  245. #245 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    From a Utah news article:

    Ono is seeking Premise’s profit from the documentary, as well as at least $75,000 in damages and a ban on the 1971 song’s use in the film.

    In addition to Premise, based in Dallas, and Rampant Films, located in Sherman Oaks, Calif., the suit names Salt Lake City-based distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures Inc. Stein, the 63-year-old former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, isn’t named in the suit.

  246. #246 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 24, 2008

    Rev. BigDumbChimp @ 109, if you think the “Expelled” producer are incompetent, you are in denial. Their film was SUPERB, their advertising was SUPERB,

    Projection (three times).

    their response to XVIVO’s claims was exactly right.

    Egnorance (correct spelling).

    Of course, I know both of you are just “framing” this issue in a way that helps the Darwinist side :-)

    Trolling and projection.

    As ID’s two main amateur lawyers, Mr. Slaman and Larry Fafarman need to represent ID in its next big court case. I’m sure Dover would turned out totally different if they’d been on the job.

    LOL!

    a comment on the comments… (i haven’t read them all).
    1. i’m very disappointed to read anti-asian comments on this blog.

    Read them all. Again.

    Avant-garde = devoid of talent, unless you consider screeching and skittery mouse-noises to be “art”.

    Take a fucking art history class, ignoramus.

    What for? That’s an issue of taste, not of knowledge.

    Does anyone know if they licensed both the composition and the recording of “All Along The Watchtower” that is played during the opening credits? Getting a Dylan song for a movie can be fairly costly – if one actually bothers to get the license. And does anyone know which string quartet is playing it? They are not identified in the end credits.

    Interesting.

  247. #247 David Marjanovi?, OM
    April 24, 2008

    Penii?

    Penes.

    Only words in -ius change to -ii.

  248. #248 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    What for? That’s an issue of taste, not of knowledge.

    The definition of the term avant-garde is not a matter of taste, but of fact. Ono’s performances on recordings with John and others is a small subset of her work as an artist, and the community which received her work long before she’d heard of the Beatles did not consider her to be talentless. I have already acknowledged that in matters of taste there can be no dispute, but to define Avant-garde as talentlessness can only be a statement made from ignorance.

    Wikipedia has a perfectly fine article on Avant-garde artists from that era.

  249. #249 Monty
    April 24, 2008

    It’s so nice to watch a horrible little movie like this get screwed over in every way imaginable. This has made my day a little bit better.

  250. #250 SteveM
    April 24, 2008

    They’re basically painting the woman’s dead husband as a fucking NAZI. This is not fair use. This is not a parody. This is despicable, and they deserve to burn for it.

    There is an interesting aspect to copyright law:

    106A. Rights of certain authors to attribution and integrity
    (a) Rights of Attribution and Integrity. — Subject to section 107 and independent of the exclusive rights provided in section 106, the author of a work of visual art —

    (3) subject to the limitations set forth in section 113(d), shall have the right —

    (A) to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation, and any intentional distortion, mutilation, or modification of that work is a violation of that right …

    Only problem is that it specifically says “visual art”. I couldn’t find a similar clause for a sound recording or phonorecord.

  251. #251 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    The “Expelled” tea did not paint Lennon as a Nazi. They played his song over footage of children playing in a school, and people marching in parades. It is on YouTube if you want to check.

    The inaccuracy on these boards is astonishing.

  252. #252 Doug S.
    April 24, 2008

    I clicked on the link, and I actually liked “Why”… should I be embarrassed or something?

  253. #253 SteveM
    April 24, 2008

    3. Premise Media has counter-sued XVIVO for damages

    Not exactly. They are suing for a declaratory judgment and lawyers fees:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/04/expelled_draws_more_aggro.php

    On April 14, 2008, Premise Media filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking declaratory judgment that there is no copyright or other infringement. Premise Media also seeks its attorneys’ fees in responding to the XVIVO claims.

  254. #254 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    I actually liked “Why”

    I agreed that it was screechy, but did not go so far as to call it “horrible.” In matters of taste, there can be no dispute.

  255. #255 PZ Myers
    April 24, 2008

    Mr Slaman: are you actually claiming that after showing my interview, and saying that I was unoriginal and stole the idea from John Lennon, that they then played the song over footage of innocuous phenomena? That they are suggesting that the consequences of a world without religion are happy children and more parades?

    Wow. Maybe it’s not such a bad movie after all.

    Or maybe your dishonesty is astonishing.

  256. #256 SteveM
    April 24, 2008

    The “Expelled” tea did not paint Lennon as a Nazi. They played his song over footage of children playing in a school, and people marching in parades. It is on YouTube if you want to check.

    Oh you’re right, not Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, that is so much better.

  257. #257 Brownian, OM
    April 24, 2008

    The inaccuracy on these boards is astonishing.

    I know. I keep telling the creationists and IDiots to go fuck themselves, but they refuse to stop posting their lying bullshit.

    Such despicable emmissaries of Yahweh, I must say.

  258. #258 Jorge666
    April 24, 2008

    Comment about having to see the movie before having an opinion – by that line of reasoning…

    Should I have to commit a murder to be able to comment on murderers?

    Should I have to join the FLDS to have an opinion on child rape and abuse?

    Should I have to join a Klan to have an opinion on the KKK?

    “Imagine” is rightfully owned intellectual property, not much different from a piece of land you purchase. The song is private property such as:

    You work hard and earn enough money to buy a piece of vacant land. One day some of your friends come over and tell you that a 3 ring Circus has set up on your land, and is charging admission. This is the first you have heard of this. No one at any time had anyone ever approached you concerning your wishes or sought your permission to set up the circus on your private property.

    You go out to the site, and on that land you sweated over and lost a family member over now has a seedy and dirty Big Tent on it with a sign advertising the Creationism 3 Ring Circus. Over in Ring 1 is the Old Earth Creationism show, in Ring 2 is the Young Earth Creationism show, and in Ring 3 is the left handed bastard stepchild of Creationism, Intelligent Design.

    This group has dug up your property, flooded some areas with sewage from the animals, and has piles of fetid garbage littered over the area. This has in the eyes of the community significantly devalued your property.

    You demand that they pack up and move on. They tell you that since they have a right to display their opinion, they have a right to destroy your property in the process.

    I would think that you would at least call the Sheriff on them for an unlawful taking of your property. That is what Yoko is doing. She is protecting her property from thieves, pirates, and brigands.

  259. #259 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    “From the clips I’ve seen they aren’t commenting on the song. They are using it as a weapon against the scientists they had just interviewed.”

    I have sene the film, and they are indeed commenting on the song “Imagine”, and thereby pointing out that the anti-religion ideas expressed by people like Dr. Myers have a source in the broader culture. “Imagine” is the ideal way to point this out, given that it is such a well known and popular song.

    Again, since their legal counsel assured them that this fits under “fair use”, it is highly inappropriate to accuse them of wrongdoing on this point.

  260. #260 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    **FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

    EXPELLED Producers to Yoko Ono: Let It Be

    (Dallas, TX) – A new front has been opened in the culture wars. Ben Stein’s EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed stunned detractors by opening as the nation’s #10 movie last weekend. Out for less than one week, it has already become one of the top 25 documentaries of all time.

    Opponents of the film have attacked everyone and everything in it. They have attacked the producers, the star, the music, and film itself. They have even attacked those who have seen it. Now they want to change the Constitution.

    Yoko Ono and others have now filed lawsuits challenging the film’s use and critique of John Lennon’s song Imagine. One of the suits seeks to ban free speech through preliminary injunctive relief which essentially means that they are trying to expel EXPELLED as it is now being shown in theaters.

    “If you really listen to the lyrics of Imagine then you realize that it represents everything that the Neo-Darwinists want. ‘Imagine there’s no Heaven…No hell below us…Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too…’ That’s exactly what the Darwinist establishment wants to do: get rid of religion. And that’s what we point out when we play less than 15 seconds of the song and show some of the lyrics on screen,” said Walt Ruloff Executive Producer and CEO of Premise Media.

    Executive Producer and Chairman of Premise Media Logan Craft explained, “The fair use doctrine is a well established principle that gives the public the right to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary and criticism. While some may not like what we have to say or how we say it, we have the free speech right to do so – just as other political and social commentators have been doing for years.”

    Premise did not pursue a license for the song and had no obligation to do so. Unbiased viewers of the film will see that the Imagine clip was used as part of a social commentary in the exercise of free speech. The brief clip – consisting of a mere 10 words – was used to contrast the messages in the documentary and was not used as an endorsement of EXPELLED.

    But the irony of this lawsuit was not lost on the film’s star Ben Stein, “So Yoko Ono is suing over the brief Constitutionally protected use of a song that wants us to ‘Imagine no possessions’? Maybe instead of wasting everyone’s time trying to silence a documentary she should give the song to the world for free? After all, ‘imagine all the people sharing all the world…You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And the World can live as one.'”

  261. #261 Calilasseia
    April 24, 2008

    Looks like they’ve not only pissed off Yoko Ono, but the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well. Sadly, the latter cannot sue.

  262. #262 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    To P.Z. Myers at #255:

    Yes, the film correctly pointed out that the ideas expressed in your interview are entirely unoriginal. They have been promoted by Communists and liberals for the better part of the twentieth century, and are part of the broader culture, as aptly illustrated by the Constitutionally protected use of the song “Imagine”.

    You wrote:

    “are you actually claiming that after showing my interview, and saying that I was unoriginal and stole the idea from John Lennon, that they then played the song over footage of innocuous phenomena?”

    I certainly didn’t say anything about “inocuous phenomena”, just that it wasn’t footage of the Nazis. I am stunned by the lack of reading comprehension you show here, Professor. Oh, wait a minute, I guess you are merely trying to “frame” things in a way that benefits the neoDarwinist side.

  263. #263 Russell Blackford
    April 24, 2008

    Yeah, the more I think about it the more I think that the Expelled fruitloops do have a reasonably testable claim of fair use – though it’s also true that the industry practice is to avoid testing points like this, and that it would have been a bold lawyer who would have advised them to take the risk.

    Since I advocate the liberalisation of fair use in copyright matters in general, I’m with them on this point. As Jim Lippard says, copyright law should allow this sort of use (based on first principles of what copyright law is supposed to be all about and how it should relate to freedom of speech). As far as I can see so far from the case law (which I most certainly don’t claim to have researched thoroughly), it still seems to be an open question whether or not the law actually will allow it.

    Now that Expelled has flopped (despite what Chris Mooney is claiming on his blog), and we can all breathe a sigh of relief about that, I’m hoping that this point will be tested in the courts, and I’ll be perfectly happy if the fruitloops have a win on this one issue – thus opening up fair use a bit more for everybody. It will be very interesting to see what the courts have to say. (Of course, the parties will probably settle out of court … so we still won’t know.)

  264. #264 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    “Now that Expelled has flopped”

    It is already in the top 25 highest-grossing documentaries of all time, after merely a week! How is that a flop?

  265. #265 PZ Myers
    April 24, 2008

    You have to be kidding, Slaman.

    First, I did not claim originality — it’s a pretty common argument that we’d be better off without the lies of religion.

    Second, you were being misleading. You painted a picture of an innocent use of the song Imagine — you claimed:

    The “Expelled” tea did not paint Lennon as a Nazi. They played his song over footage of children playing in a school, and people marching in parades.

    That was dishonest on your part. They showed loaded images of militaristic, authoritarian countries to imply that atheism would lead to oppressive governments like those of the Nazis and Communism. That’s one of the themes of the movie.

    You are a contemptible sleaze, Mr Slaman. Go away.

  266. #266 Michael X
    April 24, 2008

    It is already in the top 25 highest-grossing documentaries of all time, after merely a week! How is that a flop?

    Because all their money spent on advertising it like a major motion picture and not a documentary should have netted them far above any shoe-string budget doc that came before it. Instead, 25 pictures made for peanuts, that were advertised to no one, made more money without an ideological core of people that will pay to see anything that panders to their ignorance or that their pastors tell them to see.

    Maybe if I put it in biblical terms you’ll understand it better. It’s like an arm wrestling match between David and Goliath. But not only does Goliath lose to skinny David, 24 other scrawny kids beat him too.

    So I guess you’re right Hugh. Expelled isn’t a flop. It’s much worse.

  267. #267 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    Dr. Myers:

    It definitely was one of the themes of the movie that academic atheists like yourself are an intolerant, pompous, narrow-minded bunch of people who are attacking the freedom of those who dare to disagree with their dogmas.

    I painted an entirely accurate picture of the use of the song “Imagine”. This song was played over footage of children playing in a school, and people marching in parades, just as I said. It was not played over footage of the Nazis, as people have been dishonestly claiming here. No doubt this sort of dishonesty fits well with the way you desire to “frame” these issues.

    I am well aware you did not claim originality. Your ideas on religion are like those promoted by Communists who wished to see an idyllic Utopia free of religion altogether. It was this unrealistic dream of an idyllic Utopia that is expressed in “Imagine”, and the footage accorded perfectly with that (children playing in a school, people marching in parades). I fail to see how I have been dishonest here. No doubt you are just trying to “frame” me in a certain light.

    As for my being a ” contemptible sleaze”…well, I can’t help it, I’m under the control of my selfish genes…BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Seriously, though, am I on a blog for godless liberals, or one for moralizing prudes?

  268. #268 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    Spare me the Bible quotes Michael…I do not need to be Christian, or even theistic, to see there is something deeply wrong with Darwinist propaganda.

  269. #269 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    “Expelled” to Yoko Ono: Imagine There’s a Constitution

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62489

  270. #270 Kseniya
    April 24, 2008

    Prudes? Oh come now, Mr. Jampton, everyone knows that atheist chicks are looser than a drunken whore on holiday in Bangkok. You said as much yourself.

    Ok, so they didn’t use “Imagine” over footage of Nazis, they used it over footage of Stalin viewing his troops on the march through Krasnaya Ploschad’. Are you claiming the characterization of how the song was used, over “footage of children playing in a school, and people marching in parades” isn’t misleading except perhaps in the most literal (and most meaningless) sense? Considering how you creationists are so predictably prone to conflating athesism, communism, Stalin and Stalinism, Hitler and Naziism, and evolutionary theory (huh?) into one big historically and ideologically erroneous morass of propaganist pudding, your insistence that Expelled doesn’t equate the message of “Imagine” with the horrors of the pudding simply dishonest.

    Tell us about the schoolchildren. Little Maoist drones, maybe? Say it ain’t so!

  271. #271 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    No matter how much we try to explain to people what deceitful gasbags these lying IDiot sleaze merchants are, nothing convinces so much as one of them walking right up, pissing on your leg and telling you that it’s raining, like Hugh Jampton Slaman or whatever the hell sock puppet has been posting here. The only thing I can figure is that they sincerely believe everybody else is as stupid as they are.

  272. #272 MTran
    April 24, 2008

    “Again, since their legal counsel assured them that this fits under “fair use”, it is highly inappropriate to accuse them of wrongdoing on this point.”

    No it is not inappropriate. You can’t hide behind your attorney’s expertise and alleged advice for very much at all. Ask Ken Lay. Oh, he’s dead. Too bad he had to die to get out from under a criminal conviction.

    Unless you were present at all times when the Expelled IP lawyers were advising them, and have all their written correspondence, you don’t know what advice was actually given or followed.

    The Expelled production company sounds like a law firm’s nightmare client. Even if they pay well, your reputation gets tarnished when scummy defendants start claiming, “My lawyers said I could, nah-nah-nah.”

    The most favorable interpretation of the scenario you posit is that a court might deem their behavior was not done with “malicious intent,” but intent is not generally relevant in a finding of copyright infringement. Ask George Harrison.

    Of course, the entire Expelled enterprise was undertaken with malicious intent. But that’s a different issue.

  273. #273 Russell Blackford
    April 24, 2008

    Spin it however you want, judged by what its makers set out to achieve and by the standards of how much success would make me worry that it was having much influence on the public, the damn thing has flopped.

    I also feel that I’m making a better case for it on the point we’re discussing than Mr Slaman is, but what the hey. I was never a copyright lawyer and I haven’t been in legal practice for quite some time now. My views, warts and all, are (a) without any warranty, but (b)free of charge. *shrug*

  274. #274 Kseniya
    April 24, 2008

    Did Michael quote the bible? I missed that.

    Ooh! A WingNutDaily reference! We’re on a roll, here, folks. Well, someone has to do it, now that Joe Blow has flown. I guess that’s on a par with being fed press releases issued by Premise as being some sort of fair and balanced news source.

    I’d like to remind Hugh “IANAL” Jampton that if fair use doesn’t apply, intellectual property rights are not trumped by wishful-thinking invocation of the First Amendment. With that said, I’d like to make it clear that I’m not taking a stance on whether or not fair use applies here. But for Premise to insist it’s a Free Speech issue (as opposed to a property rights and fair use issue) is ridiculous. If fair use applies, Ms. Ono doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Leave it to the Expelled gang to try to turn this into a Free Speech issue. “Help me – I’m bein’ oppressed!”

  275. #275 Michael X
    April 24, 2008

    Darwinist propaganda Hugh?

    I recall that the comment made by you, which I responded to, had nothing to do with “Darwinist” anything. It had to do with whether or not the movie flopped. In the meantime I’ll thank you for dodging the points I made that undermine your earlier assertions and I’ll take it as you conceding the point that the movie has flopped.

    Though, I apologize if you don’t like bible stories. I don’t really like them either.

  276. #276 Kseniya
    April 24, 2008

    I do not need to be Christian, or even theistic, to see there is something deeply wrong with Darwinist propaganda.

    Surely you mean Neo-Darwinist.

  277. #277 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    Kseniya,

    Thank you for admitting that the footage used during “Imagine” was not of the Nazis.

    I described this footage according to what I remembered of it: children playing in a school, and people marching in parades, with no Nazis anywhere in sight.

    That is all I remembered of it (it was barely a 15 second clip, after all), and that is why I said no more about it. I only relate things when I am sure they are accurate, unlike those Darwinist propagandists here who fling around accusations with no second thought about their truth.

    I do not recall Stalin being there (maybe he was), nor do I remember the countries where these parades took place. The general mood in the footage was one of contrived jubilance and happiness, in accordance with the unrealistic Utopia imagined by John Lennon. If this footage was from Communist countries, it would be entirely appropriate for the song.

    LOL @ “everyone knows that atheist chicks are looser than a drunken whore on holiday in Bangkok”. That is pretty funny!

  278. #278 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    Russel Blackford;

    I’m hoping that this point will be tested in the courts, and I’ll be perfectly happy if the fruitloops have a win on this one issue – thus opening up fair use a bit more for everybody. It will be very interesting to see what the courts have to say.

    I will not be perfectly happy. I support the principle of fair use–there is far too much orphaned intellectual property tied up by corporations sitting on it, or descendants of artists preventing current artists from incorporating that work and keeping it alive in the culture, in perpetuity, as the length of copyright extends beyond the age of Mickey Mouse plus one year, renewed again and again.

    That is not what is going on here. Stein and co-conspirators are using her suit (the only action Yoko Ono’s lawyers would permit her to take, no doubt) to generate street cred among the fundies–(Yeah, we ripped her off, and we’re proud of it! We weren’t about to give those evil atheists their blood money!) using a copyrighted work in its fixed form in order to slander and defame John Lennon. Not only that, their legal grandstanding is a calculated P.R. stunt to pull in more suckers to their ugly little freakshow. The needledrop was not essential–they could have made their same specious points any number of honest ways, but creativity is beyond the capacity of these talentless ghouls.

    As I said upthread, I don’t want the future of fair use to hang on the precedent of this suit.

  279. #279 phantomreader42
    April 24, 2008

    Hugh Slaman, Liar For Jesus?:

    “Expelled” to Yoko Ono: Imagine There’s a Constitution
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=62489

    Seriously, you’re citing Wing Nut Daily? Are you actually that stupid that you think they’re a credible source? These are the morons who claimed eating soy turns you gay!

    And are you actually going to claim with a straight face that the Constitution allows you to steal with impunity?

    More from Sleazy Slaman:

    It definitely was one of the themes of the movie that academic atheists like yourself are an intolerant, pompous, narrow-minded bunch of people who are attacking the freedom of those who dare to disagree with their dogmas.

    And what was the evidence to support that claim? Oh, yeah, lies. Nothing but lies. In the end that’s all you have, all you’ve ever had, all you ever will have.

    Your freedom is not under attack. You just can’t stand to have people pointing out when you lie.

  280. #280 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    “No matter how much we try to explain to people what deceitful gasbags these lying IDiot sleaze merchants are,”

    Hey, I wasn’t the one FALSELY claiming that “Imagine” was played over footage of the NAZIS. I merely made a correction in accordance with what I recalled of the clip, and then ol’ “steel toes” Myers FALSELY accused me of dishonesty. Now you are FALSELY accusing me of being deceitful when I have been nothing of the sort.

    There are very few people who spew as much falsehood as the atheist Darwinists do.

  281. #281 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    LOL! How can I be a “Liar for Jesus” when I am not even Christian? It reminds me of Dawkins’ ridiculous accusation that the Jewish Ben Stein is “lieing for Jesus”.

  282. #282 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    I wrote:

    “It definitely was one of the themes of the movie that academic atheists like yourself are an intolerant, pompous, narrow-minded bunch of people who are attacking the freedom of those who dare to disagree with their dogmas.”

    phantomreader replied:

    “And what was the evidence to support that claim?”

    My reply: Guillermo Gonzalez

  283. #283 Michael X
    April 24, 2008

    Hugh, do you believe that evolution leads to atheism?
    Do you believe that atheism leads to Stalinism?

    Quit nitpicking about wether or not someone said a song was played over video of relatively equally evil Nazi’s or Stalinists and make the point you are dancing around.

  284. #284 Zarquon
    April 24, 2008

    Guillermo Gonzalez only has his own incompetence to blame. There’s no evidence Darwinists have anything to do with that. You lose.

  285. #285 Michael X
    April 24, 2008
  286. #286 nunya
    April 24, 2008

    I laughed when I saw this, but the AP version of the article also states:

    “Expelled” earned the No. 10 spot at the box office this weekend, bringing in nearly $3 million in its first weekend in wide release. Stein, an actor, quiz show host and former speech writer for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, has been visiting some state capitals to screen the movie for lawmakers.

    Can I just say eeeeeewwwww, please.

  287. #287 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    “Guillermo Gonzalez only has his own incompetence to blame.”

    It is ridiculous to call a man incompetent when he has SIXTY-EIGHT peer-reviewed publications in physics and astronomy to his credit.

  288. #288 Michael X
    April 24, 2008

    Do any of those 68 publications contain any evidence for ID?

  289. #289 Zarquon
    April 24, 2008

    But it isn’t ridiculous when he’s not doing the job he was hired to do. You lose.

  290. #290 Hugh Slaman
    April 24, 2008

    “Quit nitpicking about wether or not someone said a song was played over video of relatively equally evil Nazi’s or Stalinists and make the point you are dancing around.”

    Before I answer your questions, Michael, let me say that I do not think it is a light matter to accuse the filmmakers of playing “Imagine” over footage of the Nazis. These days, in the popular imagination, Hitler is a far more powerful symbol of evil than Stalin is. And it would be completely inappropriate to associate “Imagine” with Nazism (the “Expelled” producers are far better than that).

    However, it is not similarly inappropriate to associate “Imagine” with Communism. The utopian vision of “Imagine” is exactly that which motivated the Communists.

    So I do not think my comments here were “nitpicking” at all. I am correcting serious misconceptions that are being used to cast “Expelled” in a negative light.

  291. #291 PZ Myers
    April 24, 2008

    That’s enough. Slaman, you’re a goddamned moron. Goodbye.

  292. #292 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    children playing in a school, and people marching in parades

    And Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will was just a lot of people at the Olympics.

  293. #293 wazza
    April 24, 2008

    PZ, did I mention how much I love it when you slap down one of these annoyingly stupid commentators?

    It’s just… magical

    bam! and the creo is gone

    and so succinct, too

  294. #294 Ken Cope
    April 24, 2008

    wazza,

    What I find charming is the accelerated head-spinning and resultant spiral of pea-soup spew, as if they can sense their imminent demise just before the bag of bile goes *pop* from the carefully aimed pin.

  295. #295 Michael X
    April 24, 2008

    Aw, well piss.

    Not that I needed to ask if the film was a critique of John Lennons feelings on Russia, or if it was an attack on “No Religion” in general therefore making any backstory on Lennon irrelevant. The song was used only for its one line about No religion and its familiarity with viewers.

    As for nazis and stalinists, the insinuations of “evolution =” came from both directions with no differences made between them. Thus to state that it makes a difference in the case of the song is disingenuous.
    Nor is evolution or atheism directly connected to any utopian ideology, thus even to mention utopianism is to erect a strawman.

    Not that you can reply Hugh, but I’m sure you can read it.

  296. #296 Kseniya
    April 24, 2008

    unlike those Darwinist propagandists

    Come, now: Neo-Darwinists. I refer you back to Mr. Ruloff:

    “If you really listen to the lyrics of ‘Imagine’ then you realize that it represents everything that the Neo-Darwinists want. ‘Imagine there’s no Heaven … No hell below us … Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too…’ That’s exactly what the Darwinist establishment wants to do: get rid of religion,” said Walt Ruloff, CEO of Premise Media. “And that’s what we point out when we play less than 15 seconds of the song and show some of the lyrics on screen.”

    So. What we see, accompanied by the music of Lennon, is this:

  297. - 4 secs of children playing a circle game in what appears to be a classroom
  298. - 4 secs of a young girl, holding a parasol and a handbag, dancing down the sidewalk
  299. - 5 secs of a military (?) parade in what looks like Tiananmen Square
  300. - 4 sec of Stalin, in close-up, waving (presumably to Ben Stein)

    Yes, these clips add up to about 17 seconds, but the music doesn’t start until about 2 seconds into the first clip. I estimate the length of the song clip as approximately 14.999 seconds. Approximately. :-)

    Ruloff admits that the use of the song is meant to portray “exactly what the Darwinist establishment wants to do: get rid of of religion.” (Quick, someone notify Ken Miller! He must burn his Bible immediately, or suffer the wrath of The Darwinist Establishment!) And, according to Ruloff, that’s exactly the message the viewer is supposed to get from the “Imagine” sequence: that the “no religion” aspect of Lennon’s utopian vision is nothing more than:

  301. - a childish game,
  302. - a whimsical dance, which quickly leads to
  303. - a heavily militarized communist state and, of course, the Red Star of the show
  304. - Josef Stalin, and all that his cheerful wave implies.

    I’m surprised you missed this obvious implication, Mr. Jampton, and that all you took away from the sequence was forced gaity and contrived jubilance. Nothing spells “Ring Around the Rosie” like a wave from Josef Stalin!

  • #297 Ken Cope
    April 25, 2008

    Nazi Schmazi. Everybody knows atheism leads to Marxist-Lennonism.

    All Hail Marx and Lennon!

  • #298 SteveM
    April 25, 2008

    in #277 Hugh said:

    That is all I remembered of it (it was barely a 15 second clip, after all), and that is why I said no more about it. I only relate things when I am sure they are accurate, unlike those Darwinist propagandists here who fling around accusations with no second thought about their truth. I do not recall Stalin being there (maybe he was), nor do I remember the countries where these parades took place.

    You are a lying scumbag. Back in comment 251 you said:

    The “Expelled” tea did not paint Lennon as a Nazi. They played his song over footage of children playing in a school, and people marching in parades. It is on YouTube if you want to check.

    The inaccuracy on these boards is astonishing.

    Clearly you were fully aware of the content of the clip and deliberately misrepresented it. And even admonish everyone about innacuracy. The irony, it burns.

  • #299 Richard Kilgore
    April 25, 2008

    Could somebody please show me where this clip is on YouTube? I have looked for it again, and again since reading this thread, but I can’t find it.

  • #300 SteveM
    April 25, 2008

    Could somebody please show me where this clip is on YouTube? I have looked for it again, and again since reading this thread, but I can’t find it.

    See comment 37

  • #301 Richard Kilgore
    April 25, 2008

    I just saw the clip.

    I can see Stalin being put there. “Imagine” does sound like a communist song, doesn’t it?

  • #302 Ken Cope
    April 25, 2008

    “Imagine” does sound like a communist song, doesn’t it?

    Read the Sermon on the Mount and get back to me on what does or doesn’t sound communist.

  • #303 SteveM
    April 25, 2008

    I can see Stalin being put there. “Imagine” does sound like a communist song, doesn’t it?

    Stalin’s communism was worlds removed from the communism in Lennon’s song. Sorry you can’t tell the difference.

  • #304 Richard Kilgore
    April 25, 2008

    “Stalin’s communism was worlds removed from the communism in Lennon’s song. Sorry you can’t tell the difference.”

    The *ideal* behind Stalin’s communism was pretty much what was expressed in Lennon’s song. Communists just thought they had to go through a lot of warfare to get there.

    Lennon “imagined”. Communists tried to make it reality, with awful results. Sorry the conenction is a bit beyond you.

    “Read the Sermon on the Mount and get back to me on what does or doesn’t sound communist.”

    Where does the Sermon on the Mount make “no religion too” and “above us only sky” and “no Hell below us” an ideal? Communism explicitly aimed for an atheist world. It was a very popular idea among artists and intellectuals in the late sixties and early seventies when Lennon was working and writing his songs.

  • #305 Michael X
    April 25, 2008

    The Ideals behind Stalinist communism and Lennons are still worlds apart and you’ve given no reason for anyone who knows the subject to think otherwise Richard.

  • #306 Ken Cope
    April 25, 2008

    I asked you to consider the Sermon on the Mount in the context of communism, not the song Imagine. Wrong. Try again.

    Communism explicitly aimed for an atheist world. It was a very popular idea among artists and intellectuals in the late sixties and early seventies when Lennon was working and writing his songs.

    Ben Stein, puportedly an intellectual, was working and writing his speeches for Richard Nixon. That must make him a communist.

  • #307 wazza
    April 25, 2008

    Kilgore, communism was a lot more than simply atheism. Some strands were adopted by the liberal priests of the latin americas. Are you calling them atheists?

    And Stalin wasn’t aiming for Lennon’s imagining. His “communism” was basically the dictatorship of a megalomaniac. Sorry the difference is a bit beyond you.

    The sermon on the mount doesn’t espouse atheism, but it does espouse a socialist ideal, ie communism.

  • #308 Scott Hatfield, OM
    April 25, 2008

    Kilgore:

    I have to give props to Ken Cope, who knows what he’s talking about. Read the book of Acts and how the early church shared their possessions. If that’s not a form of communism, I don’t know what is.

    And, you know what? I’d rather have a freedom-loving, positive vision of mankind’s potential with or without a common religion than a stark, narrow, pointless religious view that views people only through the filter of their failures.

  • #309 SC
    April 25, 2008

    Ken Cope – Your comments on this thread have been wonderful. One small clarification: Triumph of the Will covered the 1934 Nuremberg rally. Riefenstahl’s film about the Olympics was Olympia.

  • #310 Steverino
    April 25, 2008

    “..I guess you are merely trying to “frame” things in a way that benefits the neoDarwinist side.”

    yeah, kinda like the way neoMeteorologist might frame a weather forecast.

    Hugh Slaman, Fucktard of the day

  • #311 Scooty Puff, Jr.
    April 25, 2008

    She still has a long way to go for breaking up the Beatles, but this is a start.

  • #312 Ken Cope
    April 25, 2008

    Scott, SC,

    Thanks for the props, and for the correction. I could lift a page from the Ben Stein songbook and ignore reality to stick to my story and insist you’re just some ivory tower academic trying to score points, but instead I’ll cut and paste some words from the recently departed troll to revise my remark in #292 to this:

    And Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will was just a lot of people marching in parades.

  • #313 Eli
    April 25, 2008

    As if Ben Stein uses that mega known song in his stupid movie without getting rights to it. What a loser. I hope he’s forced to take it out of the film as he should be.

  • #314 Ken Cope
    April 25, 2008

    for breaking up the Beatles

    Mick Jagger explains why they broke up.

  • #315 Jing-reed
    April 26, 2008

    The Expelled clip link from comment #37 has been pulled.

    “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Premise Media”

    Those slimly creationist creeps don’t respect anyone else’s copyright, but then invoke it for their own crap. Figures.

    Part and parcel of the xtian mindset.

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