Expelled

Did Expelled rip off John Lennon’s music? The Killers’?

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With the Expelled movie set to open across the United States in less than 24 hours, the latest uproar is a claim?/revelation? that the film used John Lennon’s Imagine without permission. Also, some stuff from The Killers.

Here’s the Wall Street Journal (but you must pay for most of it). Update: Here it is on Richard Dawkins’s site in full. Hat tip to Ethan below.

Huff Post columnist James Boyce holds forth here. And here’s a wealth of what may be information. (“Have some potato chips with your salt, for goodness sakes …”)

Tomorrow I will be in a blogger’s teleconference with Ben Stein and have written to ask that he address the accusation and the producers’ response that they only used a little bit of the music.

[(2008 04 18 1:43 EST) Update from the “Oh for Pete’s sake” department: The press conference has been cancelled.  I phoned the agency, where the person at the desk knows nothing, except that she hasn’t heard that the film won’t open tonight. So for now I suppose it will.  Legal action  from the Yoko Own-o empire later, perhaps.  

Quite honestly, at this point, I think the only important question re Expelled is whether the people it is intended to reach will go see it.  That’s all any documentary can ever do.  Later, I will write about the curious reviews appearing in legacy media, designed to reassure the materialist faithful that it is lies, all lies.  Also, scattered handsful of people will apparently turn out to protest. 

If I get time, I would like to write a cultural document about the sort of person who rousts himself out on a Friday night, wearing a tee shirt that demands, “On what day did God make the fossils?” (The day before yesterday,  Pootsie, and if you are not buying a ticket, could we stand a  little ways away from the booth? ) ]

For now I am wondering whether it was a publicity stunt to force the left blogosphere to write about the film.

You know, the old ad gimmick that if you hear something mentioned often enough, you end up buying it ….

Update April 18, 2008: I just received an e-mail from a correspondent, advising 

I saw you discussing this on the article about “Expelled”, so here is what the head administrator over at the official Killers forum has just posted:

“I just spoke to the band’s manager, and adding to the confusion was the fact that they did authorize a project months ago with this request:
Quote:

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

What they authorized was a documentary about “academic freedom in schools”, not the film that the producers produced.

They contacted the producers of the film to ask that the song be removed but it is too late. Unfortunately it was misrepresented to them when the request came through to use it. Add this band to a long line of people who were misled by the producers of this film.

 Absolutely fascinating!  It sounds as though our correspondent does not think that academic freedom applies to those who disagree with her about the evidence from nature  for the design of life. Thus the film really “isn’t” about academic freedom in the schools, you see.  Academic freedom is freedom to spout the party line at all times and in all places. Remember that, folks.

In any event, if the Expelled team got permission, they got permission, so they are legally in the clear.  (Note: Budget line item under expenses: Nuisance lawsuits – $???????)

Also, just up at Access Research Network: A look at Jewish physicist Gerald Schroeder’s The Science of God

For the most part Schroeder would get along quite well with the design theorists (and he is in the Expelled film): Here’s why:

Introduction The Science of God – a Jewish physicist considers the design of the universe and life

One thing that struck me about The Science of God: is that Schroeder admits freely and with no sense of angst – back in 1997! – that there is very little evidence for Darwinian evolution as a cause of origin of species. Yet here we are in this 2008-2009 season of ridiculous Darwin hagiography, and on the very eve of the Expelled documentary on the suppression of scientists who favour design as an explanation.

Part One: Is the Darwin cult on the way out?

In fact, Schroeder argues, the real history of life is a guided evolution that occurs as a series of jumps:

“The statement Darwin repeats several times in Origin of Species,”natura non facit saltum” – that nature does not make jumps – is simply false. Transitional forms are totally absent from the fossil record at the basic level of phylum and rare if present at all in class. Only after basic body plans are well established are fossil transitions observed. Darwin would have been much closer to the truth had he written “natura solum facit saltum” – that nature only makes jumps. (page 10)

Indeed, he charges that Darwin knew this perfectly well.
Part Two: Schroeder as recovering multiverse faddist?

While it might be tempting to say that Schroeder “would obviously think this way because he is a devout Jew,” he reveals that, as an MIT alumnus, he was originally on the “adversary’s” team. That is, he had wanted the multiverse to be real, but he found that he couldn’t make it make sense. (p. 25). Instead, “… with each step forward in the unfolding mystery of the cosmos, a subtle yet pervading ingenuity, a contingency kept shining through, a contingency that joins all aspects of existence into a coherent unity. While this coherence does not prove the existence of a Designer, it does call out for interpretation.”

Part Three: Let there be light … and then time stands still

Schroeder addresses the six days of creation in a way that I had never heard before: Instead of concerning himself about whether the days were 24 hours or great ages, he points out that light (as in “Let there be light”), strictly speaking, is free from time. At the speed of light, no time is observed to pass. (page 53ff).

For example, suppose a supernova approaches the earth for 170 000 Earth years. It is finally visible after all that time. But for the light itself, no time has passed. “Light, you see,” Schroeder explains, “is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities.”

Part Four: Self-organization – not random, but according to a preordained program

Addressing the mystery of life’s origin, Schroeder opts for self-organization – but he does not mean by this that after eons of slow cooking, augmented by an occasional accidental stir, life just sort of organized itself. He entirely dismisses the idea that life could have started by chance (pp. 84-85). He argues that self-organization occurred in response to a recipe for life encoded into the nature of the universe.

Part Five: Non-humans with a human form? And what of the divine wisdom?

More controversial is Schroeder’s view that, despite their art works and their habit of burying their dead with grave goods, humans prior to about 6000 years ago were not human and did not have a soul. He argues that they are “Nonhuman creatures with a human morphology [body shape]” (page 140-41). I learned much from his close exegesis of the Hebrew Bible, but at this point, he suddenly lost me

But Schroeder’s central concept is still pretty close to intelligent design – especially his most important concept: The universe is constructed not of matter alone but of wisdom

34 Replies to “Did Expelled rip off John Lennon’s music? The Killers’?

  1. 1
    Marie says:

    So did they rip them off? I’m a pretty big John Lennon fan, but I love what this movie will be spreading to the masses.

    I don’t know how I’ll be able to reconcile just completely stealing a piece of music that’s not their own with the rest of the message of the film if it turns out to be true.

  2. 2
    O'Leary says:

    Well, Marie, I’m waiting for two things – tomorrow’s presser for bloggers and reports about what is really finally actually in the film.*

    Everyone in the industry knows that one can’t just use Lennon’s music, same as one can’t just photoshop Disney’s Mickey Mouse as a ‘toon narrator.

    For the present, I’m going to call that whatever’s going on here is something other than what everyone thinks. Wouldn’t be the first time. I’ll blog asap after the presser.

    (*I won’t be able to see the film tomorrow myself, as it doesn’t open in Canada till later.)

  3. 3
    bFast says:

    Marie, best I can tell from reading the scuttlebutt, they licensed the music from the Killers. As far as “imagine” goes, it would appear that they did not use the whole song, or even a significant portion of it. I don’t know how copyright law reads on the matter, but they seem to think that if the snip of a song is short enough, they don’t need permission. As Ono’s lawyer didn’t rattle the “sue” sabre, I suspect that they may have a case. They are not clearly in violation.

  4. 4
    bFast says:

    I won’t be able to see the film tomorrow myself, as it doesn’t open in Canada till later.

    Any idea when it’ll make it to the Great White North? I couldn’t find out anything on the website.

  5. 5
    DLH says:

    Wall Street Journal’s take yesterday:
    Yoko Ono, Filmmakers Caught in ‘Expelled’ Flap

  6. 6
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Denyse O’leary wrote,

    Here’s the Wall Street Journal (but you must pay for most of it).

    You don’t have to pay for it — the whole article is on Richard Dawkins’ blog. At the bottom of the article is an email from Michael Shermer that says,

    Ethan,

    I just read your WSJ piece on Yoko and the use of an excerpt from Imagine in the film Expelled, in which I appear. Here is an interesting tidbit for you: In my book How We Believe (Henry Holt/Times Books, 2000), I have a chapter on how religious attitudes changed dramatically in the 1960s, and I wanted to include just four lines from Imagine, which I figured was within fair-use limits. My publisher thought otherwise and insisted that I get permission from Yoko first, so I wrote her, making it clear that the thesis of my book meshes well with the religious attitudes of John Lennon. She turned me down!

    So if Yoko wouldn’t give me permission to print an excerpt, what are the chances that she’ll just let the Expelled folks get away with actually playing an excerpt from the song? I suspect that they are in big trouble now…

    Michael Shermer
    Skeptics Society

    “Imagine” is an iconic song — for example, the name of the song is at the center of the Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park. Refusing to permit use of the song is ridiculous. IMO the song should be placed in the public domain.

    Yoko Ono is incredibly tightfisted about allowing use of John Lennon stuff. For example, here is a case where the owners of a John Lennon film paid $1 million for it in 2000 and she wouldn’t even let them show it for free —

    Thomas and his partner, John Fallon, were unable to get an artist release from Ono, whose lawyers contend has a copyright interest in the film. That’s why they chose to do free screenings at high schools and colleges, starting with Berwick Academy.

    But Ono’s lawyers said even that was forbidden, which led Berwick Academy to scrap the screening.

    Cox’s unfinished documentary was sold in 2000 for $1 million to Fallon, Thomas and Providence businessman Bob Grenier.

    — from http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/40436362

    I propose boycotting all Beatles and John Lennon stuff until Yoko Ono eases up on allowing use of John Lennon stuff.

    As for the Killers’ song, the WSJ article said,

    Bloggers also questioned whether another popular rock group, the Killers, had given permission for the inclusion in the film of one of their songs, “All These Things That I’ve Done.” A spokesman for Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, which owns the band’s record label and music publisher, said licenses had been issued.

    Also, I am very disturbed by the idea that giving permission to use the songs implies endorsement of the movie by the songs’ copyright holders. IMO that is a very dangerous idea.

    Gerald Schroeder apparently wears a yarmulke in the movie — I wonder if that is just to piss off the Anti-Defamation League. LOL See picture at —
    http://www.sciam.com/article.c.....ohn-rennie

  7. 7
    Marie says:

    I only bring it up because in Bridgeport Music vs. Dimension Films, they ruled that a 1.5 second loop of a song violated copyright, and that was just for a piece of music sampling another piece of music.

    I’ve heard people say the ‘less-than-25-second-rule’ in film circles before but I know that that’s a myth, so if the Expelled people actually are going to use that as a defence, I’m a little worried as to who’s providing them legal device.

    Either way I’ll wait until I hear from them tomorrow and pray for the continued success of this film even if there are little blips on the radar such as this.

  8. 8
    DaveScot says:

    A legal beagle somewhere (I forget where) pointed out that there have been fewer than 10 cases of copyright infringement brought against documentary films and of those only 3 were successful for the complainant. Documentary films evidently have far greater immunity in copyright claims.

  9. 9
    Larry Fafarman says:

    DaveScot said,

    A legal beagle somewhere (I forget where) pointed out that there have been fewer than 10 cases of copyright infringement brought against documentary films and of those only 3 were successful for the complainant.

    Here is a website that contains a lot of info about fair use in documentary films —
    http://www.centerforsocialmedi...../fair_use/

    This website has a video with the following description:

    Fair Use and Documentaries in Court

    What does the legal record tell us about fair use in documentaries? Not very much, because there have been so few cases—nine since 1996, and only five plaintiffs in total, since two plaintiffs each brought three of the cases. None of the plaintiffs have been motion picture studios or large archives. In most cases, the defendant won. Where the defendant did not win, the defendant had behaved in ways that documentarians who wrote the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use would not approve.

    An article says,

    Fair-use practices — which have been upheld by the courts as a way of balancing the extension of copyright protections — are a matter of established practice in the print media. One publication can quote from another, within reasonable limits, without violating copyright. But in the visual media, the practice of licensing rights has evolved into a complicated morass. Filmmakers, when they want to include a clip from a news broadcast or another film, are often asked to license not just the clip itself but also various underlying rights — say, for example, the music rights to a tune that happens to be playing in the background when a film crew is shooting in a real-life study.

    In their initial study, Aufderheide and Jaszi found that for many filmmakers, licensing rights has become not just an expensive proposition but also an inhibiting one. Citing dozens of examples, they contend, for instance, that the budget of Jonathan Caouette’s homemade 2004 documentary “Tarnation” ballooned from $218 to $400,000, “using most of the eventual budget to clear rights.”

    Since rights are often licensed for fixed periods, further problems pop up when they must be renewed. Henry Hampton’s “Eyes on the Prize,” a study of the civil rights movement, is now out of circulation because it originally purchased five-year licenses and renewing them was prohibitive.

    More ominously, the researchers found that problems with right clearances are even leading some filmmakers to self-censorship. Jeffrey Tuchman (“The Man From Hope”) said that he had shelved a project on politics and the media because rights issues had become “so extortionate.”

    — from
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.c.....1001477929

    The “Expelled” movie does not present the “Imagine” and Killers’ songs as just pure entertainment — the movie shows how popular songs are often commentaries on real-life situations. If Yoko Ono sues the “Expelled” producers, so much the better — the prominence of the movie will help bring this “fair use” issue to the attention of the public.

    Another thing about Yoko Ono — she is so rich from John Lennon’s royalties that she has no reason to care about money — no filmmaker could pay her enough for rights to a John Lennon song if she is disinclined to grant those rights.

    It looks like the Darwinists have struck out again.

  10. 10
    Larry Fafarman says:

    I also found this —

    STANFORD, Calif., February 27, 2007—The Fair Use Project of the Center for Internet & Society at Stanford Law School announced that it has teamed with Media/Professional Insurance and leading intellectual property attorney Michael Donaldson to provide critical support for documentary filmmakers who rely on the “fair use” of copyrighted material in their films. . . .

    “Documentary filmmakers who use copyrighted materials in their work under the ‘fair use’ doctrine of copyright law have come under tremendous pressure in the face of demands for huge licensing fees from copyright holders and overly-aggressive enforcement of copyrights,” explained Lawrence Lessig, founder and director of the Center for Internet and Society and the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.

    “The mere threat of a lawsuit can keep an important film on the shelf for years,” Lessig said. “This has been a tremendous problem for documentarians because their films depend on the inclusion of copyrighted material they seek to comment on, discuss, and contextualize.”

    In order to help solve this problem, the Fair Use Project has announced that it will agree to provide pro bono legal representation to certain filmmakers who comply with the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use published by the Center for Social Media at American University (www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fairuse). Accordingly, the filmmaker will have counsel in place prior to the release of the film should the filmmaker face claims of copyright infringement. Media/Professional, in turn, will provide insurance coverage against copyright infringement liability in the event the filmmaker proves unsuccessful in defending the claim. In situations where the Fair Use Project is not in a position to promise pro bono representation, Donaldson and other leading intellectual property attorneys will be available to defend claims at favorable rates.

    — from http://www.law.stanford.edu/news/pr/51/

  11. 11
    lpadron says:

    “Imagine no possessions….”

  12. 12
    O'Leary says:

    Fair use presents different issues for documentaries than for fictional entertainment.

    For example, suppose a documentary captures an incident in the Toronto subway – a group of teens mobbing, with the police trying to haze them onto the trains.

    What luck! Someone throws a punch at a cop, and it is captured on film!

    And all the while in the background a grunge favourite, “Cop Killer”, is blasting away, leaking from various earpieces.

    To represent the scene authentically, the actual grunge hit – along with all the other noise – should be heard. What if the artist refuses permission?

    A film made purely for entertainment, not relying on authenticity, can simply use whatever grunge music is permissioned. But that won’t work for the documentarist because her commmitment is to represent exactly what happened.

    The grunge hit is not only a work of art in this case, it has also become part of a first draft of history.

    Well, we will see where all this leaves Expelled and Yoko Ono. I have asked for Stein to comment at the presser this afternoon.

    If PZ Myers sneaks in again, I hope they just cut the phone. His show went on the road a while back.

    By the way, Schroeder is a devout Jew, as his books demonstrate. I would not have emphasized the Jewish influence on his writings were it not overwhelming. His wearing a yarmulke should not be a surprise, and was not likely done to annoy anyone.

  13. 13
    tribune7 says:

    You don’t have to pay for it — the whole article is on Richard Dawkins’ blog.

    Did Dawkins get the WSJ’s permission? Seriously.

    And the Killers are cool.

  14. 14
    TRoutMac says:

    After the last attempt with the XVIVO animation, which was so preposterous on it’s face, and, I think, slapped down so vigorously by the Expelled producers with a law suit of their own, I’m assuming that this flap is more of the same. Dr. Dembski said in the other thread that the Expelled folks are well covered in terms of intellectual property counsel.

    The issue with “The Killers” appears to be dead already, since they obviously DID give permission and Expelled is precisely as the producers represented it.

    As far as “Imagine” goes, (and I’ve never been very enthralled by the Beatles’ music) I imagine that they’ll end up being well-covered on that as well.

    People just do not want this movie to be seen. That’s all this is.

  15. 15
    steveO says:

    Slightly off topic but a few years ago I read an article from James Bowman in which he used the song ‘Imagine’ to make a point about certain scientists:

    “..Well, it’s hard to believe, but I think it’s because, brainiacs though they obviously are in every other way, theologically they are on the level of the late John Lennon. “Imagine there’s no heaven,” wrote the ex-Beatle,

    It’s easy if you try,
    No hell below us,
    Above us only sky,
    Imagine all the people
    living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries,
    It isn’t hard to do,
    Nothing to kill or die for,
    No religion too,
    Imagine all the people
    living life in peace… etc.

    It’s really the most basic logical mistake, um, imaginable. Because people have quite often cited religion as a reason for killing other people — and the other people for killing them — if you take religion away from them they won’t kill each other anymore. Put so baldly, the proposition could only be believed by a child, but scientists very often are child-like — as, of course, Lennon was. They are also often deficient in historical knowledge and may have missed the last century when the great atheistic faiths of Communism and Naziism killed far more people than religion had ever managed to do in a comparable period of time.”

    http://www.jamesbowman.net/art.....pubID=1670

  16. 16
    DaveScot says:

    “Imagine no possessions” is something that Yoko Ono doesn’t seem to agree with. She possesses all of Lennon’s music and milks it for every dime she can get out of it.

  17. 17

    Schroeder’s The Science of God was the book that allowed me to reconcile my faith with the modern views of cosmology and biology. It’s a very powerful book, especially for anyone who has read more than a passage or two of the Bible.

    The fact that Nachmanides, back in the 13th Century, used the Torah to calculate the age of the universe as being around 15 billion years astonished me. Considering the number of possible choices between 5,000 (the YEC number) and infinity, how could someone who was born 400 years before the telescope was invented possibly come up with the same number that scientists today did? It was as unlikely as abiogenesis to me.

    Here’s Dr. Schroeder’s explanation of how the universe is both 15 billion years old and 7 days old.

  18. 18
    bFast says:

    I really wonder if a demonized documentary like Expelled is the best movie to be used to establish the “fair use doctrine” in courts. My guess is that because the movie is critical of science, and ultimately of the courts (Dover), the courts may take a harder line than they would with a less inflamatory documentary.

    Angryoldfatman — thanks for the link.

  19. 19
    QuadFather says:

    “What they authorized was a documentary about ‘academic freedom in schools’, not the film that the producers produced.”

    What’s wrong with that? Restricting the free speech and free thought of academics in schools is obviously not an issue of academic freedom in schools.

    :smirk:

  20. 20
    JPCollado says:

    Larry farfarman:
    “I am very disturbed by the idea that giving permission to use the songs implies endorsement of the movie by the songs’ copyright holders. IMO that is a very dangerous idea.”

    It is all part of the Twisted Logic Syndrome these darwinists seem to suffer from. It comes with the territory.

  21. 21
    JPCollado says:

    Imagine is also a New World Order song very much aligned with he agendas of powerful globalist organizations. And since ID has roots in Judeo-Christian ideology (something that is detestable to the emerging world politic), I would not doubt the possibility of a little skirmish ensuing over the “ill-intended” use of this song.

  22. 22
    Charlie says:

    JPC at #19,
    That it is . Imagine the poor kids who endorse the movie by selling popcorn and soda at the theatres. They’ll be under the microscope before too long.

  23. 23
    lpadron says:

    Davescot: Agreed and agreed. Ono’s a shrewd one. In any case, if you have the time and inclination could you email me at lpadron13@hotmail.com? I’ve a question to ask regarding a topic on this site.
    thx.,
    lpadron

  24. 24
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Denyse O’Leary wrote (comment #12) —

    Someone throws a punch at a cop, and it is captured on film!
    And all the while in the background a grunge favourite, “Cop Killer”, is blasting away, leaking from various earpieces.

    To represent the scene authentically, the actual grunge hit – along with all the other noise – should be heard. What if the artist refuses permission?

    Denyse, your scenario might not be an exaggeration. One of my sources said,

    Filmmakers, when they want to include a clip from a news broadcast or another film, are often asked to license not just the clip itself but also various underlying rights — say, for example, the music rights to a tune that happens to be playing in the background when a film crew is shooting in a real-life study.

    — from http://www.hollywoodreporter.c.....1001477929

    However, IMO a “tune that happens to be playing in the background” is not in the same category as music that is deliberately chosen by the filmmaker. Still, though, “Expelled”‘s use of “Imagine” looks like fair use to me.

    Here is the “The Copyrightman” (or “Royaltyman”) version of the Beatles’ song “The Taxman”:

    Let me tell you how it will be;
    There’s one for you, nineteen for me.
    ‘Cause I’m the copyrightman,
    Yeah, I’m the copyrightman.

    Should five per cent appear too small,
    Be thankful I don’t take it all.
    ‘Cause I’m the copyrightman,
    Yeah, I’m the copyrightman.

    If you hear it in a movie, I’ll charge your seat,
    If you hear it on radio, I’ll charge the beat,
    If you dance to the music, I’ll charge your feet,
    If you print the music, I’ll charge the sheet

    Copyrightman!

    – – – – – – – – – —

    Don’t ask me what I want it for,
    If you don’t want to pay some more.
    ‘Cause I’m the copyrightman,
    Yeah, I’m the copyrigntman.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    And you’re working for no one but me.

    http://www.lyrics007.com/The%2.....yrics.html

    Before he made a retraction, James Boyce wrote on the Huffington Post,

    I guess that the $20 million plus the estate earns every year isn’t enough for Yoko Ono, not only does she feel the need to license the song out, she probably held out for the highest bidder, in this case, the money behind the movie, Walt Ruloff, who made over one hundred million dollars selling his company to Microsoft.

    — from Yoko Ono Sells Out John Lennon To Creationist Manufactroversy — UPDATED AND RETRACTION

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....96527.html

  25. 25
    Lutepisc says:

    No religion too,
    Imagine all the people
    living life in peace… etc.

    Actually, this accords rather well with the apocalyptic vision of the new Jerusalem at the end of time. Paul Tillich points out that in the book of Revelation, there is no temple in the new Jerusalem, because God is “all in all.”

    No Temple = no religion. No need for “religion,” as all has been fulfilled and history has reached its destiny and end point.

    Rather telic, don’t you think?

    🙂

  26. 26
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use says (page 6 of pdf file),

    QUOTING COPYRIGHTED WORKS OF POPULAR CULTURE TO ILLUSTRATE AN ARGUMENT OR POINT

    DESCRIPTION: Here the concern is with material (again of whatever kind) that is quoted not because it is, in itself, the object of critique but because it aptly illustrates some argument or point that a filmmaker is developing — as clips from fiction films might be used (for example) to demonstrate changing American attitudes toward race.

    PRINCIPLE: Once again, this sort of quotation should generally be considered to be fair use. The possibility that the quotes might entertain and engage an audience as well as illustrate a filmmaker’s argument takes nothing away from the fair use claim. Works of popular culture typically have illustrative power, and in analogous situations, writers in print media do not hesitate to use illustrative quotations (both words and images). In documentary filmmaking, such a privileged use will be both subordinate to the larger intellectual and artistic purpose of the documentary and important to its realization. The filmmaker is not presenting the quoted material for its original purpose but harnessing it for a new one. This is an attempt to add significant new value, not a form of “free riding” — the mere exploitation of existing value.

    LIMITATIONS: Documentarians will be best positioned to assert fair use claims if they assure that:

    — the material is properly attributed, either through an accompanying on-screen identification or a mention in the film’s final credits; [“Imagine” is so well known that attribution is hardly necessary]

    — to the extent possible and appropriate, quotations are drawn from a range of different sources;

    — each quotation (however many may be employed to create an overall pattern of illustrations) is no longer than is necessary to achieve the intended effect; (the “Imagine” segment is under 25 seconds)

    — the quoted material is not employed merely in order to avoid the cost or inconvenience of shooting equivalent footage.

    Those who have slanderously accused the “Expelled” producers of dishonest copyright infringement don’t realize that there is a whole new ball game — supporters of reasonable principles of fair use in documentaries have become organized.

  27. 27
    Charlie says:

    Those trying to stop this film accused its producers of fraudulence in obtaining interviews, hypocrisy, plagiarism, and copyright infringement. They have attacked the issuers of license for music used, “informed” Harvard about the video, threatened legal action, advocated sneaking in, advocated bootlegging the film, written to try to dissuade theatres from showing it, etc.
    I kept having visions of roadblocks set up to inspect the tire-pressure and tail lights of the trucks transporting the film to theatres.

  28. 28
    Stone says:

    Meh… the beatles are overrated anyway.

    The animals > The beatles

    You cannot use samples of a recording that are not cleared/royalty free, (I’m a crate digger in my spare time)regardless of how short they may be.

    If you had a a version from a label that no longer had copy and publishing rights to it, you could use it, but ultimately someone’s going to be holding the rights to a song like that…

    I would have just had someone similar sing the lyrics.. point would have been the same.

  29. 29
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Stone said,

    You cannot use samples of a recording that are not cleared/royalty free, (I’m a crate digger in my spare time)regardless of how short they may be.

    I disagree. Because this is a documentary, I think that a good case for fair use can be made. See the preceding comments.

  30. 30

    […] viniboombap wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptTomorrow I will be in a blogger’s teleconference with Ben Stein and have written to ask that he address the accusation and the rsponse that they only used a little bit of the music. For now I am wondering whether it was a publicity … […]

  31. 31
    Stone says:

    [quote]I think that a good case for fair use can be made. See the preceding comments.[/quote]

    Doesn’t matter, any unauthorized copying of any audio material from any LLC sole proprietor or inc ect. for commercial use, is a felony crime under federal law.

    That being said, I don’t know what the current standing of the copyrights are. As it is an old song and likely the rights to it(Creative publishing and copyright) have likely changed numerous times.

    This may work to the documentary’s advantage. Gotta love the bureaucratic system and it’s many many many technicalities via anal retentive paper work.

  32. 32
    Larry Fafarman says:

    Stone said,

    Doesn’t matter

    It does matter. The preceding comments state,

    STANFORD, Calif., February 27, 2007—The Fair Use Project of the Center for Internet & Society at Stanford Law School announced that it has teamed with Media/Professional Insurance and leading intellectual property attorney Michael Donaldson to provide critical support for documentary filmmakers who rely on the “fair use” of copyrighted material in their films. . . .

    “Documentary filmmakers who use copyrighted materials in their work under the ‘fair use’ doctrine of copyright law have come under tremendous pressure in the face of demands for huge licensing fees from copyright holders and overly-aggressive enforcement of copyrights,” explained Lawrence Lessig, founder and director of the Center for Internet and Society and the C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.

    In order to help solve this problem, the Fair Use Project has announced that it will agree to provide pro bono legal representation to certain filmmakers who comply with the Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use published by the Center for Social Media at American University (www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fairuse).

    Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use says (page 6 of pdf file),

    QUOTING COPYRIGHTED WORKS OF POPULAR CULTURE TO ILLUSTRATE AN ARGUMENT OR POINT

    DESCRIPTION: Here the concern is with material (again of whatever kind) that is quoted not because it is, in itself, the object of critique but because it aptly illustrates some argument or point that a filmmaker is developing — as clips from fiction films might be used (for example) to demonstrate changing American attitudes toward race.

    PRINCIPLE: Once again, this sort of quotation should generally be considered to be fair use. The possibility that the quotes might entertain and engage an audience as well as illustrate a filmmaker’s argument takes nothing away from the fair use claim. Works of popular culture typically have illustrative power, and in analogous situations, writers in print media do not hesitate to use illustrative quotations (both words and images). In documentary filmmaking, such a privileged use will be both subordinate to the larger intellectual and artistic purpose of the documentary and important to its realization. The filmmaker is not presenting the quoted material for its original purpose but harnessing it for a new one. This is an attempt to add significant new value, not a form of “free riding” — the mere exploitation of existing value.

    LIMITATIONS: Documentarians will be best positioned to assert fair use claims if they assure that:

    – the material is properly attributed, either through an accompanying on-screen identification or a mention in the film’s final credits; [”Imagine” is so well known that attribution is hardly necessary]

    – to the extent possible and appropriate, quotations are drawn from a range of different sources;

    – each quotation (however many may be employed to create an overall pattern of illustrations) is no longer than is necessary to achieve the intended effect; [the “Imagine” segment is under 25 seconds]

    – the quoted material is not employed merely in order to avoid the cost or inconvenience of shooting equivalent footage.

  33. 33
    Stone says:

    Depending on how they aquired the sample, no, it’s quite likely it won’t matter.

    The DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) was passed, This law accomplished an “end run” around Fair Use provisions, by making it illegal to copy or sample from any digitally encoded material which is protected by a DRM (Digital Rights Management) scheme (regardless of whether for Fair Use purposes). As the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) puts it:

    By banning all acts of circumvention, and all technologies and tools that can be used for circumvention, section 1201 grants to copyright owners the power to unilaterally eliminate the public’s fair use rights. Already, the music industry has begun deploying “copy-protected CDs” that promise to curtail consumers’ ability to make legitimate, personal copies of music they have purchased.

    The federal anti-piracy warning began appearing on cd’s in the late 90s, the fair use act was inacted in 1976.

    Try something a lil more up to date than wikipedia.

    Unless you got that off an old vynl(which is what I meant when I called myself a crate digger) you’re SOL and JWF.

  34. 34
    MMC-NEWS says:

    John Lennon’s killer is again denied parole in NY…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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