'Expelled' producers accused of copyright violations

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

A new intelligent design creationist movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, starring Ben Stein, is scheduled to debut April 18, but several different sources have accused the film's producer of copyright violations. Though the movie has been criticized by Dr. Richard Dawkins, Dr. PZ Myers, and Dr. Eugenie Scott, who said they were tricked into appearing in the film, as well as from movie critics and scientists, the legal issues might develop into trouble for the producers.

On April 9, a cease-and-desist letter was sent to the producers of Expelled, alleging that the appearance in the film of an identical copy of XVIVO's video entitled The Inner Life of the Cell, which was created in partnership with Harvard University, infringed on XVIVO/Harvard's property. Shortly after, a letter was sent by David Bolinsky of XVIVO who wrote that Expelled's misuse of XVIVO/Harvard's work is harmful to their work.

On April 16, the The Wall Street Journal reported that Expelled producers did not receive permission to use John Lennon's "Imagine" from Yoko Ono, who possesses the copyright on the music. At the same time, it was noted that the producer also did not receive permission from The Killers for their song "All these Things That I Have Done." In addition, Myers believes Expelled copied material without permission from WEHI-TV and Public Broadcasting Service's video The Central Dogma: Transcription of DNA to RNA.

The topic of the film has also not been without controversy, as the scientific community does not believe intelligent design is valid science. Some scientists have panned the movie as "anti-science." Furthermore, the film received attention a month ago when Myers, who is interviewed and thanked in the film, was asked to leave a free screening of the movie by Mark Mathis, the movie's associate producer. However, Mathis did not notice Dawkins standing in line next to Myers who subsequently saw the film and wrote critically of it.


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