Fair Use Project to Represent Premise Media Against Yoko Ono Lennon and EMI Records

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a controversial film about a contentious issue: whether proponents of intelligent design are being unfairly silenced in academia and beyond. It has been shown on more than 1000 theater screens nationwide, and its producers have drawn praise from some circles and scorching criticism from others. Right or wrong, good or bad, it's a film that explores important issues of free speech, faith and science.

Yoko Ono Lennon has sued the film's producers in federal court because the film uses a fifteen second clip of the John Lennon song "Imagine." EMI, the record label that asserts ownership in the recording of song, has also sued the producers in state court. Both seek an immediate injunction forcing the removal of "Imagine" from the film.

We have agreed to defend the producers of the film in both actions. The reason is simple. The Film uses "Imagine" to critique, explicitly and implicitly, what the film suggests is the overtly anti-religous message embodied in the song, and to respond to this message by suggesting the absence of religion from society can have terrible social consequences. The right to quote from copyrighted works in order to criticize them and discuss the views they represent lies at the heart of the fair use doctrine. The lawsuits filed by Ono and EMI threaten important free speech rights that need to be defended.

Stay tuned for more information as the case develops.

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