"Expelled" Flunks Intellectual Property 101
The new Ben Stein movie Expelled is catching heat for using songs without permission. Yoko Ono is suing for their use of "Imagine," and others are likely to follow. In an incredible display of chutzpah, stupidity, or a combination thereof, the spokespeople for Expelled claim their use of the songs falls within the fair use doctrine because the movie is a documentary. I'll forgo any comments on whether it's a documentary because it doesn't matter. They incorporated someone else's intellectual property into their own for-profit work without permission. By definition, that lands nowhere near fair use.
People, nicking someone else's intellectual property is the same as hijacking someone else's truck to make your deliveries. And the ultimate result will be that one day someone who looks like Tony Soprano will serve you some nasty looking documents drafted by someone like me.