In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, Ono accuses the producers of ''Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed'' of suggesting to viewers that those who guard John Lennon's legacy somehow authorized or sponsored the film.The producers have claimed fair use, but as has already been pointed out at Sivacracy, I think it's unlikely that that defense will hold up. I'm interested to see how this turn out, not only because I'd like for nothing else than the financial ruin of the producers of a film littered with distortions, misinformation, and lies, but also to see the ruling regarding fair use.
Ono's lawsuit claims the producers did not ask for permission either because they knew they couldn't get it or because they did not want to pay for the rights. It objects to the way ''Imagine'' is listed in the film's credits, saying it suggested to members of the news media and others that the song's use had been approved.
''Internet 'bloggers' immediately began accusing Mrs. Lennon of 'selling out' by licensing the song to defendants,'' says the complaint, filed this week.
I think Ono has a strong case, as the producers of Expelled clearly fail on factor (1) on the US copyright website describing fair use. I also think that Ono could make a case regarding factor (4) considering the negative publicity she has received because of the song's appearance in Expelled.
This isn't the only copyright infringement that has gotten Expelled into hot water, either. As PZ Myers pointed out, several of the animations appear to be plagiarisms of existing cellular animations by XVIVO and PBS. I'm not so sure that the animations infringement claim is strong enough to provide a case for either XVIVO or PBS to file suit, but Ono's case is solid.