Imagine a fair use

Yesterday the trial court ruled against Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s sons, holders of the copyright to Lennon’s song “Imagine,” in their lawsuit against challenging use of 15 seconds of the song in Ben Stein’s film “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.” Ono et al did not want use of the song to appear to endorse the message of Stein’s pro-intelligent design film. The judge ruled that use of the song was fair use. I’ve not seen the film but the judge’s ruling appears to be correct, based on what I’ve read. The song is played against a montage of images criticizing its anti-war and anti-religion lyrics, a straightforward example of transformative, parodic use. Ono plans to appeal but success on appeal is unlikely.

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