Thursday, May 22, 2008

Possible contempt of court by Premise Media?

I'm becoming more convinced that for policy reasons, if not as a matter of jurisprudence, Expelled's use of Imagine should constitute fair use. As you may recall, Ben Stein's Expelled used a short clip of Lennon's Imagine without permission. Yoko Ono is now suing while Stein and the production company, Premise Media, is claiming that their use constitutes fair use. Wikipedia has a good article on Expelled which discusses this issue in some detail. (Disclaimer: I've helped write some of it). There is a temporary injunction to prevent new distribution of the movie.

I'm having trouble seeing how this article isn't talking about a failure to follow the injunction against continued distribution of the movie. The article talks about how Expelled is about to run in a new theater in central Iowa. Given that the injunction allows places that have the movie to continue showing it but prohibits new distributions of the movie I'm puzzled as to how this can done consistent with the injunction which as of Monday's hearing still stands.

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