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Apr 23 2008

She’s done it

If Expelled achieves anything, it will be to make millions of Beatles fans Yoko Ono supporters for the first time in their lives. You just don’t steal music.

This is why we call them IDiots, gang.

19 comments

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  1. 1
    Enshoku

    “The three companies did not respond to requests for comment.”these guys never have anything to say. Stealing a song doesn’t really make them “IDiots” as much as it makes them “caught red handed doing something naughty”.

  2. 2
    Brandon

    I “Imagine” they’re suing for more than the $3 million the film made this weekend.

  3. 3
    Enshoku

    they aren’t gonna be able to sue for as much as you might think, unless “damages” involves something important. Copyright violation of a song tends to end up costing 100,000 to a million in the 3 cases I bothered to look up, I think the bad press probably hurts them more.

  4. 4
    D.A.N.

    Isn’t that use of that song part of the Fair Use Act, they merely mentioned it as part of educating the public. They should of asked her but who would want to talk to Yoko Ono. Was that mean? OK I retract it.Everyone should pick up the book by Michael J. Behe called The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism He claims Darwinian evolution is very efficient is some ways but we need to follow the evidence where it leads. Some evolutionist however want to stay on philosophically safe ground instead using physical evidence and reasonable logic. Science is a search for the best explanation about the world using physical evidence and reasonable logic. If the evidence points to an intelligence then science would welcome that but, like Expelled points out, evolutionists are trying to box off a certain conclusion.Observational evidence show that in the best cases when it has the most opportunity, Darwinian processes have been demonstrated not to be able to make sophisticated molecular machinery. Have been demonstrated not to do anything other then tweaks in shapes or properties of molecules that they already have.It isn’t an argument but data. You have to deal with the data. It should be a good read.

  5. 5
    Atheist in a mini van.

    What the fuck is with these people? For a production company, they really suck at knowing what permissions, allowances, and contract law, applies to their film. It boggles the mind, really, that all of these “mistakes” were “mistakes”. I think Mathis, and others, knew full well what they were doing: misleading interview subjects, stealing graphics, kicking people out of their movies (in all of their spectacular, ironic glory), and now using music that they didn’t get permission to use? Give me a break. I saw a lame response from one of the Expelled supporters who said, “Lennon is dead so who should he have got permission from?” Um. How about the person who holds the rights to the song – like his wife and children!! I hope Yoko sues their ass for millions and takes every last penny of their profit. I also hope that the news channels do episodes wherein all of the shit storm surrounding this movie is discussed.

  6. 6
    Atheist in a mini van.

    Dan, I could be very wrong. But, I thought the fair use act only applied to projects that you weren’t going to make money off of? I think the rules say that you have to ask the owner or artist if you’re going to use the music in a feature film with mass distribution so that the owner of the song can take a cut or fee. Feel free, whoever knows better, to correct me if I’m wrong.What’s really going to screw Mathis (with regard to this issue), is that he won’t be able to distribute the film on DVD until the court makes a decision. This sort of thing has caused delays on many a DVD production.

  7. 7
    Enshoku

    There are four tenets of the fair use law, but one the first needs to be addressed: 1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; Obviously expelled is looking to rake in a profit so fair use does not apply. Also Dan, may I ask why you went on a tangent about Darwinian evolution? It has very little to do with the topic, though the other expelled posts on this blog are fair game, this one was meant for specifically discussing the copyright breach that was committed.

  8. 8
    Brian

    Fair use could still apply to a for-profit enterprise, so long as the use is incidental. If, for example, they were interviewing a person on the street, and a car drove through the shot, and while in the shot, the music playing in the car stereo was recorded, Fair Use would apply. In practice, movie-makers would need to get permissions in order to stop lawyers from suing them just to flex their muscles, and distributors supposedly won’t distribute film without all clearances, even if the content involved falls within the stricture of Fair Use, because they don’t want to have to pay to defend against a frivolous lawsuit. I haven’t seen Expelled yet, but from what I understand, they play “Imagine” over top of images of Stalin and other dictators. This sounds like it wouldn’t be categorized as Fair Use, as they seemingly went out of their way to include it.It does sound like they’re claiming that they’re making a comment on the song, which would fit within the parody/commentary allowances of Fair Use, but that seems pretty dubious.

  9. 9
    Brian

    Dan, the problem with the “designer” notion, as many others (both more educated and eloquent than myself) have pointed out, as a way of explaining the life on Earth, is that it isn’t an answer at all. You’re pushing the answer back, saying that it doesn’t matter how life is the way that it is, because somebody else — who we don’t know anything about, nor make any claims to know anything about — was the one who did it.I’m a programmer, and when someone tells me that something I’ve made is broken or has a bug in it, that information is meaningless to me unless there’s enough descriptive information for me to hunt down the bug, replicate it a LARGE number of times, then set about fixing it (and test it many times more to ensure that it’s fixed). Similarly, saying that a designer built us tells me anything about how we came to be. If a child asked you what you do for a living, and you said “I work,” would that be enough for the child to understand your profession?

  10. 10
    Enshoku

    If you search youtube, you can find the copyrighted clip and I would say that fair use does not apply. The comedic argument could be used, but only on the point that the whole movie attempts to induce satire into it.I also find it interesting that you are a programmer, may I ask of what?

  11. 11
    D.A.N.

    Brian,I understand where you are coming from but you are without excuse. “– who we don’t know anything about, nor make any claims to know anything about — “Following your program analogy it would be like 4 billion people telling you all about your flaw, exactly where it is and why it’s flawed. They all give you a “Book” that explains every flaw in that program. All you have to do is read what we have put in front of you, but like most, you close your eyes and plug your ears and scream “I don’t see it”BTW Mathis points out that Expelled opened on 1,052 screens — about half the number of screens of other Top 10 movies. You haven’t seen anything yet. I hope Yoko sues their ass for millions and takes every last penny of their profit. It may be naively spoken but I don’t think profit was the number one goal for Expelled, like most films.Enshoku: Also Dan, may I ask why you went on a tangent about Darwinian evolution?Is a blog so formal that no one can introduce a book that talks about the subject being discussed? I did comment on what was written then introduced something else. Wrong? Should I get permission also, is Martin going to sue me now? So many rules to follow !)

  12. 12
    Enshoku

    Is a blog so formal that no one can introduce a book that talks about the subject being discussed?The book appears to have nothing to due with copyright laws.I did comment on what was written then introduced something else.Indeed you did, as I did address the fair rights act along with two other people.Should I get permission also, is Martin going to sue me now? So many rules to follow !)No, but I’m gonna sue the hell outta you for offending me… now if only you you posted something offensive…

  13. 13
    Nathaniel

    While being for profit doesn’t help you claim fair use, it doesn’t make it impossible, either. I haven’t seen the clip myself, but I understand it involves the “no religion too” bit juxtaposed with nazi imagery. This is clearly a commentary on the song and its message, and, as such, should be protected parody. Heck, it might come under “educational purposes” too: (mis)education is clearly a central purpose of the film. Fair use has been eroded far too much already; I don’t want it eroded further on my account. Just because someone is an idiotic lying scumbag doesn’t mean they don’t deserve their fair use rights.

  14. 14
    Luis

    “Observational evidence show that in the best cases when it has the most opportunity, Darwinian processes have been demonstrated not to be able to make sophisticated molecular machinery.”Have been demonstrated not to do anything other then tweaks in shapes or properties of molecules that they already have.”How has this been “demonstrated”? How much time was allowed for the observations in question? And why should we have expected anything more than tweaks to things that were already there (the standard modus operandi of evolution) in the short period of time that such observations must necessarily be constricted to? “It isn’t an argument but data. You have to deal with the data. It should be a good read.”Only if the data is interpreted using realistic and known-to-work models does can such a claim mean anything. The book has been severely criticised by Jerry Coyne, a top geneticist who says that Behe’s claims won’t hold water with people who know about the subtleties of genetic systems. It should be pointed out that Behe actually CONCEDES that evolution has taken place and that we have genealogical affinities with other primates. I think what he’s saying is that the mutations were “guided” rather than random (this is despite all evidence to the contrary. For Behe, it has to be the case that the mutations were guided, otherwise there’s nothing left of intelligent design. Given that, as a matter of fact mutations are, by all accounts random, that leaves Intelligent Design with nothing at all. It has reached its last refuge, but no sooner does it reach it than it is flushed out by what was already known for years). Speaking of data, does Behe talk about things like segregation distorters, transposons, homing endonucleases, selfish chromosomes and other selfish genetic elements? These things are the very antithesis of “intelligent design”, for they are too rebellious to be considered “for the good of the organism”. What about sexual antagonism? Many animal species allocate considerable resources towards the battle of the sexes, expending time and energy that could have been used doing other things. In elephant seals, around 80 percent of the copulations are carried out by a small minority of males. A bachelor male has to wait his turn by either sneaking copulations behind the dominant male bulls’ back, or wait till these bulls are dead (or else to face them down in battle). But while that’s happening, this population of males, who are hardly contributing to reproduction, are consuming an inordinate amount of resources. Such things are a consequence of the dynamics of evolving populations, and are wasteful from the point of view of the “common good”. These sorts of dynamics are wasteful from the point of the view of the population. Sexual conflict of this sort can drive down the fitness of populations. What about sex itself? For a male to copulate, he must often woo a female, guard her against other males (often against her best wishes), drug her, scrape out the sperm from previous copulations, and/or or put in a plug to prevent the sperm of subsequent males from winning out. In many insects, there is a veritable Swiss Army knife of genital contraptions, not just on the male but on the female, who resists with her own gadgets (spermicide, canals into which sperm is deposited and later disposed of, and thicker cuticles to guard against being stabbed). Chemicals, stabbing utensils, fake gifts, coercion with little hooks to grab onto struggling females, harassment, and of course resistance – all these things manifest themselves over and over again. And this happens because there are costs associated with sex; it isn’t in the interests of a female to copulate with every male that comes along, but it is more nearly in the interests of every male to try to get into every female he sees. An arms race ensues over this clash of interests, and more varied and devious ways pathways are devised by evolution to overcome the challenges posed by the either sex. In some species, female resistance to impregnation is so effective that it has actually lead to a significant proportion of females becoming infertile – but such things can persist because on average, genes that sometimes come together and contribute to building an infertile female will do better on average than genes that predispose the females to being too willing to copulate. I’m putting it all pretty crudely, but I’m just trying to convey an overall idea of why things – part and parcel of the natural world, not mere curiosities that pop up every now and then – are very odd if one supposes that the natural world was designed by an intelligence. What about genomic imprinting? This has been implicated in the weird conflict that goes in inside pregnant mammals; some genes, imprinted from the father “want” to make the baby bigger; some genes, imprinted from the mother, “want” to limit the allocation of resources to the baby (since it comes at the mother’s expense). This is heavy-duty weirdness. This sort of internal conflict is not the type of thing we should expect from the handiwork of an intelligent designer, but is entirely amenable to understanding if we see the problem the right way up: these adaptations and responses aren’t for the good of the group, or in many cases even for the good of the individual, but are for the good of the gene (which will usually coincide with the good of the individual, but not always as we have seen. Selfish genetic elements have even been implicated in the extinction of some species, and the mathematics says that this can indeed happen).

  15. 15
    D.A.N.

    Lui,That was well thought out and interesting points. Behe has indeed condoned evolution and I thought it would be a fascinating “common ground” for non believers and believers, such as this group, to start. I would be very interested in what you take away from “The Edge of Evolution” and hope you will pick up a copy. BTW I visited the Creation Museum last week on a driving trip from Tampa to California and I must say the quality of exhibits were impressive. I never went to Kentucky before and found it quite beautiful. My kids loved the trip. My little 6 year old paleontologist was able to actually dig for fossils at a quarry. I wonder if I can write the entire trip off as a educational field trip.

  16. 16
    Curt Cameron

    I think Yoko will lose this case – the use of the two lines from the song is clearly intended to be critical of it. PZ Myers had just made some comments about how he hopes religion someday is just considered a small unimportant hobby with some people. Then Stein says that PZ was just getting that from Lennon’s songbook, and they play the two lines while showing what looks like a May Day celebration with Stalin officiating.So I think Expelled will win this lawsuit, but what the hell was Stein thinking in trying to associate evilness with one of the most popular and beloved songs of all time?

  17. 17
    Luis

    “BTW I visited the Creation Museum last week on a driving trip from Tampa to California and I must say the quality of exhibits were impressive.”The Creation Museum is a travesty and an embarrassment to the United States. Dinosaurs WERE NOT the contemporaries of human beings. Anyone who believes that they were is living in a fantasy world, plain and simple. It’s beyond ridiculous. Sure, the quality of exhibits might be excellent (because the people who built it have a lot of money), but that doesn’t mean the actual content can match it. If I build a Museum of Scientology with with realistic models of aliens enslaving humans, that doesn’t mean anyone is obligated to take these concepts at all seriously.

  18. 18
    D.A.N.

    Lui Dinosaurs WERE NOT the contemporaries of human beings.Do you have any proof of this claim?Like Darwinism there are many assumptions you are making. As you all can see the implications of Darwin’s legacy are far reaching. “He paved the way for moral relativism, and fueled racism, claiming blacks, aborigines, and other inferior, less-evolved races.) His ideas have also fueled the abortion industry, leading to the conclusion that an unborn child is nothing more then a lump of cells (or just an animal) and that a woman has the right to kill it if she so chooses. The ideas of Darwin even paved the way for Hitler, who used them to justify the extermination of those he considered less then ideal- resulting in the mass murder of millions of Jews, gypsies, and others. His ideas have contributed to the erosion of the family, educational institutions, the decay of the legal system, and have led to great compromise in the church.One of the students involved in the Columbine school shooting wore a T-shirt with “natural selection” written on it. The more students are told they are just animals, and have evolved by natural processes- the more they will begin to act consistently with this view of origins. As generations are trained to believe there is no God, thus no absolute authority, then there is no basis for determining right and wrong- moral relativism will pervade the culture.” Ken Ham

  19. 19
    Luis

    “Do you have any proof of this claim?”Yes. All suitable dating methods show that dinosaurs lived at least 65 million years ago. All suitable dating methods show that anatomically modern humans lived not more than around 200,000 years ago. Therefore, no overlap. Or do you also think that geologists are clueless dickheads?”Like Darwinism there are many assumptions you are making.”All based on evidence, not your wishes. “He paved the way for moral relativism, and fueled racism, claiming blacks, aborigines, and other inferior, less-evolved races.”While he was a racist in the sense that he saw other races as less developed, he never advocated that these people be harmed or exploited. And modern evolutionary theory has shown that racism is completely untenable. Darwin’s views on human race were influenced FAR more by his Victorian upbringing than his science. It’s true that some saw in his theory a scientific justification for the racism they already had, but imperialist racist and white supremacist ideas were already around; Europeans already believed that they were superior to blacks and others, and the myths erected to maintain that status quo of domination and colonial exploitation were as much bolstered by dodgy theistic views as they were by dodgy biological views. Hitler mentioned Darwin NOT ONCE in Mein Kampf. You’d think that if Darwin had been such a huge influence on Hitler, that he would have gotten a mention at least once in that book. Not so. He did, however, mention how he saw himself as doing God’s work by fighting against the Jews, and he talked about the sacred underpinnings of the “volk”. Hitler did believe in the “law of the jungle”, but even this was heavily attached to (and perfectly congruent with) his view of a sacred, divinely-ordained battle between the worthy and the unworthy (as he saw them). I know how much you’d love to be able to lay all of the genocides and mass murders, and every other problem whatsoever, on Darwin’s door, but the fact is that Darwin’s theory was never meant to be (and he alluded to this numerous times) a moral philosophy, ONLY a scientific theory for explaining life’s complexity and diversity. Natural selection provided no ideological basis for genocide; it might have, improperly applied, given some of the executioners the notion that what they were doing was somehow further “justified” because it was consistent with scientific principles, but these were, form their outset, deeply irrational belief systems. If you want to blame Darwin for Auschwitz, then you should also blame Christianity, for laying the groundwork of anti-Semitism. The Nazis had the technological and organisational resources to carry out what many would love to have done for purely religious reasons. What’s more, Darwin talked about NATURAL selection. He was in fact far LESS of a racist than most people of his time, and he NEVER advocated genocide or anything like it. Yours is merely an argument from consequence: something can’t be true because of the bad things it (supposedly) leads to (a bit like “If there is no God, then anything goes. Therefore, God must exist.”). Finally, while Darwin did emphasise competition more than cooperation, both are in fact important parts of the process. An organism can gain an advantage by working with its contemporaries (and we see many examples of animals working together, even non-kin). Perhaps you should look a bit more deeply into this than just parroting whatever Ken Ham tells you. Talk about “assumptions”.

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