John Lennon’s 1971 song, “Imagine,” is the theme song of neo-Darwinists, according to Walt Ruloff, CEO of Premise Media, and was thus used appropriately in his company’s movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.
In an interview with the conservative news site, World Net Daily, Ruloff insisted the use of the song fit the theme of the movie.
“If you really listen to the lyrics of ‘Imagine’ then you realize that it represents everything that the Neo-Darwinists want. ‘Imagine there’s no Heaven … No hell below us … Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too…’ That’s exactly what the Darwinist establishment wants to do: get rid of religion,” said Walt Ruloff, CEO of Premise Media. “And that’s what we point out when we play less than 15 seconds of the song and show some of the lyrics on screen.”
Rrrright … John Lennon channeled Charles Darwin, who wrote a biological theory proposing that we do away with religion. I don’t understand how I missed that connection before.
Expelled alleges that a “neo-Darwinist” conspiracy seeks to quash any debate about the theory of evolution and that evolution — Darwinism — is directly responsible for racism, the Holocaust, abortion and euthanasia. The movie opened April 18 and has grossed just over $3.4 million so far.
Part of the movie includes a short excerpt of “Imagine,” in an attempt to make a connection between the sentiments expressed in the lyrics and the movie’s allegations of this neo-Darwinist (in the old days, it was called secular humanist) conspiracy.
Lennon’s heirs filed suit Wednesday in New York to bar the use of the song in the movie, and are seeking unspecified damages for copyright infringement, and damages of at least $75,000 for damages relating to Ono’s role as executor of Lennon’s estate.
Premise Media insists its use of the short excerpt was within the fair-use doctrine of copyright law, meaning that critics and authors can use portions of copyrighted material without seeking permission first.
Lennon’s heirs, widow Yoko Ono and sons Julian and Sean, and his publishing company don’t see it that way. Their complaint filed Wednesday in US District Court in Manhattan seeks to bar the use of Lennon’s song, which if enforced would require all 1,052 theaters showing the flick to pull it off their schedules and require Premise Media to make new 35 mm prints.
Musical woes are only part of Premise Media’s legal problems. Earlier this month, a Cambridge, Mass., based scientific animation studio sent a letter to Premise Media officials pointing out similarities between its cell animations and Expelled‘s animations, and alleging copyright infringement. The letter asked the animations be removed from the final release copies of the film, which apparently happened.
Premise Media then itself turned around and filed a nuisance suit in Texas against the animator, XVIVO LLC, asking for a summary judgment that there was no copyright infringement and for XVIVO to pay Premise’s legal and court costs.
Neither the Lennon nor the XVIVO suit has been settled yet.
Ono was raked over the coals in the blogosphere last week when a writer for the Huffington Post incorrectly reported that Ono had given her permission to use “Imagine” in the anti-evolution movie. He later retracted the story, but the viral nature of the Internet spread the infamy far and wide. Ono is still smarting from the allegations.