May 21, 2008

Judge Stein Promises Quick Ruling in 'Imagine' Case

From the tipster wire:

"A judge has promised a fast decision in a lawsuit brought by Yoko Ono to get the song "Imagine'' taken out of a movie challenging the concept of Darwinian evolution after a lawyer for the film's distributors warned the litigation could wreck the movie's political message."


Would an injunction "muzzle" the film producer's free speech? They argue that the film is asking if John Lennon was right, and concludes he was wrong. "Why would you ask somebody for permission to criticize their work?'' their attorney asked. "It's not likely it's going to be granted.''

Lennon's attorney responded: "fair use is not about destroying the other person's market. It's about carving very, very limited exceptions to a copyright proprietor's monopoly.''

So, readers - is it FAIR USE?

Notably, Judge Stein only required plaintiffs post a $20,000 bond to cover any losses suffered by the film's producers as a result of an injunction. What standard to judges apply to determine potential damages resulting from a wrongful preliminary injunction in setting the bond?

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