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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Imagine" segment of "Expelled" DVD self-censored by distributor

Sadly, Anthony Falzone of the Stanford Fair Use Project reported that the segment of the "Expelled" DVD with John Lennon's "Imagine" song was self-censored by the distributor because of the now-withdrawn copyright lawsuits that were hanging over the movie:

After both the state and federal courts rejected the attempts of Yoko Ono Lennon and EMI Records to enjoin the showing of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed on the ground it used a 15-second fragment of John Lennon's Imagine, all of the plaintiffs in both cases have now withdrawn their claims and dismissed their cases.

This is the right result to be sure. There should never have been any doubt the filmmakers who were sued here had every right to use a short segment of a song for the purpose of criticizing it and the views it represents. But the right result came far too late. The mere pendency of these cases caused the film's DVD distributor to shy away from releasing the full film -- the version that includes the Imagine segment. So the film goes out on DVD on October 21 in censored form, illustrating the damage that even an unproved and unsupported infringement claim can do.

It is not clear whether the video scenes were cut or just the soundtrack was cut, and I will try to find out.
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The fundies are one of the biggest markets for the "Expelled" DVD -- the ad for this DVD on the Answers-in-Genesis fundy creationist website is especially enthusiastic about the movie [1]. I presume that the "Imagine" segment was one of the fundies' favorite parts of the movie, so the DVD's omission of this segment will be a big disappointment for them. Darwinists are still moaning that the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are the victims, but the real victims are the defendants. There was extra damage to the defendants because the plaintiffs continued these lawsuits long after it became obvious that these lawsuits were not going anywhere. Darwinist bloggers are to blame because they accused Yoko Ono of "selling out." Even if she had licensed or released the song to the "Expelled" producers, would that have been so terrible? It is wrong to assume that allowing a copyrighted work to be borrowed by another work implies endorsement of the borrowing work.
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9 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> "Imagine" segment of "Expelled" DVD self-censored by distributor <

No doubt part of an out of court settlement. These things are usually kept quiet.

Saturday, October 11, 2008 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> No doubt part of an out of court settlement. <<<<<<

What reason(s) did the defendants have for settling out of court? The defendants were in the driver's seat -- the plaintiffs failed in both federal court and state court to obtain a preliminary injunction against the movie. The DVD could have been distributed worldwide with the song included.

>>>>> These things are usually kept quiet. <<<<<<

"Usually"? I have never heard of such a general rule.

Saturday, October 11, 2008 6:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> The defendants were in the driver's seat -- the plaintiffs failed in both federal court and state court to obtain a preliminary injunction against the movie. The DVD could have been distributed worldwide with the song included. <

The failure to obtain a preliminary injunction is no indication that the final case will not be won. Preliminary injunctions are only issued in a minority of cases in which the plaintiff finally wins.

> "Usually"? I have never heard of such a general rule. <

You have never heard of much when the subject is law.

Sunday, October 12, 2008 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Preliminary injunctions are only issued in a minority of cases in which the plaintiff finally wins. <<<<<<

One reason for that, bozo, is that a preliminary injunction is not even requested in many lawsuits because there is no need to prevent harm or additional harm to the plaintiff pending a final decision. And it would not even do any good to know what percentage of plaintiffs who are denied preliminary injunctions finally win their lawsuits, because the individual circumstances of each case have a lot of influence on the likelihood of such a win. The plaintiff's likelihood of prevailing is not the only factor that courts consider in deciding whether to grant a preliminary injunction -- here are some other factors:

-- how much evidence remains to be discovered. In Yoko v. Expelled, there was little or nothing left to discover.

-- a comparison of the harm that granting the injunction would cause the defendant(s) vs. the harm that denying the injunction would cause the plaintiff(s). In Yoko v. Expelled, the potential harm to the defendants was great and the potential harm to the plaintiffs was small, hence the preliminary injunction might have been denied even if the plaintiffs had a fair chance of prevailing. However, the opinion denying the injunction made it obvious that the plaintiffs had virtually no chance of prevailing. This opinion was thorough, covering most of 38 double-spaced pages -- it is difficult to imagine much that could be added in a final opinion. This opinion was longer and more thorough than the final opinions in the majority of cases. According to you, the lengths of the final opinions in my airtight smog impact fee lawsuits -- which were later vindicated in state courts -- were adequate: zero.

>>>>>> "Usually"? I have never heard of such a general rule. <

You have never heard of much when the subject is law. <<<<<<<

You talk big, bozo, but you haven't been able to counter my legal arguments.

There is no general rule about out-of-court settlements: sometimes an out-of-court settlement is announced and the terms are disclosed, sometimes a settlement is announced but the terms are not disclosed, and sometimes a settlement is kept secret. In this case, I doubt that the defendants agreed -- in an out-of-court settlement -- to omit "Imagine" from the DVD because otherwise the lawsuits probably would have been dropped some time ago -- the DVD is scheduled for release on Oct. 21 and I suspect that production without the song began some time ago.

Sunday, October 12, 2008 5:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Hector said...

> You talk big, bozo, but you haven't been able to counter my legal arguments. <

Sorry Bozo. ViU and Kevin always have countered your legal arguments quite successfully. You still are not up to the "stopped clock" level of accuracy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008 8:14:00 PM  
Anonymous dootland said...

My ignorance on legal matters and my unwillingness to comb through tedious legal documents render me unable to post any opinion worth a hoot.

Monday, October 13, 2008 6:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> My ignorance on legal matters and my unwillingness to comb through tedious legal documents render me unable to post any opinion worth a hoot. <

It doesn't stop Larry.

Monday, October 13, 2008 7:22:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

"I'm always kicking their butts -- that's why they don't like me."
-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 2:38:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Did you get your T-shirt yet?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 9:19:00 AM  

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