News: The Stanford Fair Use Project scored a major victory for fair use yesterday in a case pitting Yoko Ono Lennon (along with Sean Ono Lennon, Julian Lennon, and EMI Blackwood Music) against the producers of the movie “Expelled,” which seeks to debate intelligent design and evolution (with a slant to the critics of the adequacy of evolution). The district court rule that using 15 seconds of John Lennon’s “Imagine” in the 1 hour 39 minute movie was likely a fair use. You can find the opinion on Lessig’s blog.
Analysis: I haven’t seen the movie, but, by the description in the opinion, the movie’s use of the 15 seconds of the John Lennon strikes me as a very easy case of fair use. The movie producers were using the Lennon song in order to show its naivete in thinking we can live in a world with “Nothing to kill or die for/ and no religion too,” or that a world without religion is even desirable.