I was on my way home from work the other day when I heard that Yoko Ono and her sons are suing the producers of the “intelligent design” film Expelled over their unlicensed use of John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” The producers are claiming a fair use exemption. Going online to find some more information about the case, I’m finding that most news outlets don’t seem to be picking up the story, though I did find about 500 words or so at The Dallas Morning News on their Religion blog. Top Google results for the story come up as entertainment sites, like E! and Mediabistro, but all seem to assume that the fair use claim isn’t valid because of the subject of the film.

Has anyone seen the film that can comment on the context of the usage? Folks are always looking for legal challenges to fair use, and while I don’t personally support the ideas put forward in this particular film, it doesn’t negate the possibility that they could have a fair use claim depending on how they are using the material.

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