I thought it was pretty well-known that if you want to make a movie, you damned well better not use any songs performed by anyone with the last name “Lennon” or “McCartney” without permission. Unless, of course, you never want to see any future earnings again.
The makers of “Expelled” screwed up. Big time. Yoko Ono, her son Sean Lennon stepson Julian Lennon are suing the filmmakers for using the song “Imagine” in the film.
Oh. Ouuuuuch. Owie, wowie-zowie. Talk about idiocy at its finest.
According to the Reuters story, the Lennon survivors are requesting the filmmakers and distributuors stop using the song in the film – and are also requesting “unspecified damages.”
The producers have cited the fair use doctrine — which allows the use of copyrighted materials for commentary and criticism. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t say how it’s been used one way or the other. Here is the extended trailer for the film (no Lennon songs here; just Mojo Nixon’s “Bad to the Bone” and Stein talking to hired extras who look like college students.
But I will say if history repeats itself that the only person winning Ben Stein’s money will be Yoko Ono.