Yoko Ono 'Expelled,' Judge Denies Injunction Against Documentary's Use of 'Imagine'Tue Jun 03, 2008 @ 11:33AM PST
Posted by Eriq Gardner
A Manhattan federal judge has denied Yoko Ono's request for an injunction against an anti-evolution documentary that used John Lennon's "Imagine" without her consent.
The makers of the documentary, "Expelled," used a 15 second clip of the Lennon song to criticize its anti-religious message as naive. Represented by copyright guru Anthony Falzone at Stanford Law School, the producers argued that the use of the song was fair use.
U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein agreed in this opinion, stating that "defendants are likely to prevail on their affirmative defense of fair use."
Ono has had some success in court recently in attempts to use copyright to shield her late husband's legacy, but not this time.
We'll see whether EMI Music drops its own suit in New York state court on the matter, which claims that makers of the documentary harmed EMI’s ability to license the song.