Expelled wins the next legal step.
Sampling a song can be fair use, rules US court
OUT-LAW News, 21/08/2008
The producers of a film defending the anti-evolutionary theories of Intelligent Design probably did not infringe copyright when they used a sample of John Lennon’s song Imagine in the film, a New York court has ruled.
Judge Richard B Lowe III ruled in the Supreme Court of the State of New York that “fair use is available as a defence in the context of sound recordings.” Past rulings outlawed the use of even very short music clips without copyright holders’ permission.
Premise Media Corporation and others produced Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a film which claimed that exponents of Intelligent Design theory are being unfairly criticised and censored for their association with it. . . .
The film producers argued that their use was transformative because it was criticism. By placing the clip where they did in the film they were criticising its stance that the world would be a happier, safer place without religion.
“This Court finds that [the producers’] use of John Lennon’s Imagine Recording is transformative,” said the ruling. “That the secondary work may have a commercial purpose does not undercut a finding of transformative use.”
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See: Decision and Order