Wednesday, April 23, 2008

She's done it

If Expelled achieves anything, it will be to make millions of Beatles fans Yoko Ono supporters for the first time in their lives. You just don't steal music.

This is why we call them IDiots, gang.


  1. "The three companies did not respond to requests for comment."

    these guys never have anything to say. Stealing a song doesn't really make them "IDiots" as much as it makes them "caught red handed doing something naughty".

  2. I "Imagine" they're suing for more than the $3 million the film made this weekend.

  3. they aren't gonna be able to sue for as much as you might think, unless "damages" involves something important. Copyright violation of a song tends to end up costing 100,000 to a million in the 3 cases I bothered to look up, I think the bad press probably hurts them more.

  4. Isn't that use of that song part of the Fair Use Act, they merely mentioned it as part of educating the public. They should of asked her but who would want to talk to Yoko Ono. Was that mean? OK I retract it.

    Everyone should pick up the book by Michael J. Behe called The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism

    He claims Darwinian evolution is very efficient is some ways but we need to follow the evidence where it leads. Some evolutionist however want to stay on philosophically safe ground instead using physical evidence and reasonable logic. Science is a search for the best explanation about the world using physical evidence and reasonable logic. If the evidence points to an intelligence then science would welcome that but, like Expelled points out, evolutionists are trying to box off a certain conclusion.

    Observational evidence show that in the best cases when it has the most opportunity, Darwinian processes have been demonstrated not to be able to make sophisticated molecular machinery. Have been demonstrated not to do anything other then tweaks in shapes or properties of molecules that they already have.

    It isn't an argument but data. You have to deal with the data. It should be a good read.

  5. 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!!

    I hope Yoko sues their ass for millions and takes every last penny of their profit. I also hope that the news channels do episodes wherein all of the shit storm surrounding this movie is discussed.

  6. Dan, I could be very wrong. But, I thought the fair use act only applied to projects that you weren't going to make money off of? I think the rules say that you have to ask the owner or artist if you're going to use the music in a feature film with mass distribution so that the owner of the song can take a cut or fee. Feel free, whoever knows better, to correct me if I'm wrong.

    What's really going to screw Mathis (with regard to this issue), is that he won't be able to distribute the film on DVD until the court makes a decision. This sort of thing has caused delays on many a DVD production.

  7. There are four tenets of the fair use law, but one the first needs to be addressed:
    1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    Obviously expelled is looking to rake in a profit so fair use does not apply. Also Dan, may I ask why you went on a tangent about Darwinian evolution? It has very little to do with the topic, though the other expelled posts on this blog are fair game, this one was meant for specifically discussing the copyright breach that was committed.

  8. Fair use could still apply to a for-profit enterprise, so long as the use is incidental. If, for example, they were interviewing a person on the street, and a car drove through the shot, and while in the shot, the music playing in the car stereo was recorded, Fair Use would apply. In practice, movie-makers would need to get permissions in order to stop lawyers from suing them just to flex their muscles, and distributors supposedly won't distribute film without all clearances, even if the content involved falls within the stricture of Fair Use, because they don't want to have to pay to defend against a frivolous lawsuit.

    I haven't seen Expelled yet, but from what I understand, they play "Imagine" over top of images of Stalin and other dictators. This sounds like it wouldn't be categorized as Fair Use, as they seemingly went out of their way to include it.

    It does sound like they're claiming that they're making a comment on the song, which would fit within the parody/commentary allowances of Fair Use, but that seems pretty dubious.

  9. Dan, the problem with the "designer" notion, as many others (both more educated and eloquent than myself) have pointed out, as a way of explaining the life on Earth, is that it isn't an answer at all. You're pushing the answer back, saying that it doesn't matter how life is the way that it is, because somebody else -- who we don't know anything about, nor make any claims to know anything about -- was the one who did it.

    I'm a programmer, and when someone tells me that something I've made is broken or has a bug in it, that information is meaningless to me unless there's enough descriptive information for me to hunt down the bug, replicate it a LARGE number of times, then set about fixing it (and test it many times more to ensure that it's fixed). Similarly, saying that a designer built us tells me anything about how we came to be.

    If a child asked you what you do for a living, and you said "I work," would that be enough for the child to understand your profession?

  10. If you search youtube, you can find the copyrighted clip and I would say that fair use does not apply. The comedic argument could be used, but only on the point that the whole movie attempts to induce satire into it.

    I also find it interesting that you are a programmer, may I ask of what?

  11. Brian,

    I understand where you are coming from but you are without excuse.

    "-- who we don't know anything about, nor make any claims to know anything about -- "

    Following your program analogy it would be like 4 billion people telling you all about your flaw, exactly where it is and why it's flawed. They all give you a "Book" that explains every flaw in that program. All you have to do is read what we have put in front of you, but like most, you close your eyes and plug your ears and scream "I don't see it"

    BTW Mathis points out that Expelled opened on 1,052 screens -- about half the number of screens of other Top 10 movies. You haven't seen anything yet.

    I hope Yoko sues their ass for millions and takes every last penny of their profit.

    It may be naively spoken but I don't think profit was the number one goal for Expelled, like most films.

    Enshoku: Also Dan, may I ask why you went on a tangent about Darwinian evolution?

    Is a blog so formal that no one can introduce a book that talks about the subject being discussed? I did comment on what was written then introduced something else. Wrong? Should I get permission also, is Martin going to sue me now? So many rules to follow !)

  12. Is a blog so formal that no one can introduce a book that talks about the subject being discussed?
    The book appears to have nothing to due with copyright laws.
    I did comment on what was written then introduced something else.
    Indeed you did, as I did address the fair rights act along with two other people.
    Should I get permission also, is Martin going to sue me now? So many rules to follow !)
    No, but I'm gonna sue the hell outta you for offending me... now if only you you posted something offensive...

  13. While being for profit doesn't help you claim fair use, it doesn't make it impossible, either. I haven't seen the clip myself, but I understand it involves the "no religion too" bit juxtaposed with nazi imagery. This is clearly a commentary on the song and its message, and, as such, should be protected parody. Heck, it might come under "educational purposes" too: (mis)education is clearly a central purpose of the film. Fair use has been eroded far too much already; I don't want it eroded further on my account. Just because someone is an idiotic lying scumbag doesn't mean they don't deserve their fair use rights.

  14. Lui,

    That was well thought out and interesting points. Behe has indeed condoned evolution and I thought it would be a fascinating "common ground" for non believers and believers, such as this group, to start. I would be very interested in what you take away from "The Edge of Evolution" and hope you will pick up a copy.

    BTW I visited the Creation Museum last week on a driving trip from Tampa to California and I must say the quality of exhibits were impressive. I never went to Kentucky before and found it quite beautiful. My kids loved the trip. My little 6 year old paleontologist was able to actually dig for fossils at a quarry. I wonder if I can write the entire trip off as a educational field trip.

  15. I think Yoko will lose this case - the use of the two lines from the song is clearly intended to be critical of it. PZ Myers had just made some comments about how he hopes religion someday is just considered a small unimportant hobby with some people. Then Stein says that PZ was just getting that from Lennon's songbook, and they play the two lines while showing what looks like a May Day celebration with Stalin officiating.

    So I think Expelled will win this lawsuit, but what the hell was Stein thinking in trying to associate evilness with one of the most popular and beloved songs of all time?

  16. Lui Dinosaurs WERE NOT the contemporaries of human beings.

    Do you have any proof of this claim?

    Like Darwinism there are many assumptions you are making. As you all can see the implications of Darwin's legacy are far reaching.

    "He paved the way for moral relativism, and fueled racism, claiming blacks, aborigines, and other inferior, less-evolved races.) His ideas have also fueled the abortion industry, leading to the conclusion that an unborn child is nothing more then a lump of cells (or just an animal) and that a woman has the right to kill it if she so chooses. The ideas of Darwin even paved the way for Hitler, who used them to justify the extermination of those he considered less then ideal- resulting in the mass murder of millions of Jews, gypsies, and others. His ideas have contributed to the erosion of the family, educational institutions, the decay of the legal system, and have led to great compromise in the church.

    One of the students involved in the Columbine school shooting wore a T-shirt with "natural selection" written on it. The more students are told they are just animals, and have evolved by natural processes- the more they will begin to act consistently with this view of origins. As generations are trained to believe there is no God, thus no absolute authority, then there is no basis for determining right and wrong- moral relativism will pervade the culture." Ken Ham


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