Friday, May 02, 2008

Expelled the Movie Box Office: #5 In Per Screen Average

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed continues to show mid-week strength at the box office. Of all the wide release movies, it was #9 in per screen average over last weekend, but was #7 in that category on Sunday night. It has been #5 in per screen average every night this week so far (Monday to Wednesday).

This confirms what I noted in my last related post:
One thing to keep in mind: this is a documentary. It is a film that makes you think (although it is also surprisingly dramatic, entertaining and engrossing). This means that it is not a typical "Saturday night" kind of a film. I think that is another reason why it is relatively strong during the week, and weaker last Saturday night.

It has also already risen to #14 on the list of all-time highest grossing documentary films. And this after only 13 days in theaters.

Expelled the Movie: Older Posts

You can find a collection of my older posts on Expelled the movie here.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Stanford Fair Use Project to Help Defend Expelled the Movie

From the press release:

STANFORD, Calif. The Fair Use Project of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society today announced that it is signing on to defend Premise Media’s right to use a clip of John Lennon’s song “Imagine” in its documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” for the purposes of commentary and criticism.


Premise Media contends it has the right to use the song under the fair use doctrine, which among other things permits the use of copyrighted material for the purpose of comment, criticism, and discussion.

“The right to quote from copyrighted works in order to criticize them and discuss the views they may represent lies at the heart of the fair use doctrine,” said Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project. “These rights are under attack here, and we plan to defend them.”


The clip of “Imagine,” which is audible for approximately 15 seconds, is used in a segment of the documentary in which the film’s narrator and author Ben Stein comments on statements made by Myers and others about the place of religion. In the documentary Stein says: “Dr. Myers would like you to think that he’s being original but he’s merely lifting a page out of John Lennon’s songbook.” This is followed by an audio clip of Lennon’s song “Imagine,” specifically, the lyrics “Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too.”

“We included the ‘Imagine’ clip not only to illuminate Ben Stein’s commentary but to criticize the ideas expressed in the song,” says Logan Craft, chairman and executive producer of Premise Media.


About the Fair Use Project

The Stanford Center for Internet and Society’s Fair Use Project (“the FUP”) was founded in 2006. Its purpose is to provide legal support to a range of projects designed to clarify, and extend, the boundaries of “fair use” in order to enhance creative freedom. The FUP represents filmmakers, musicians, artists, writers, scholars, and other content creators in a range of disputes that raise important questions concerning fair use and the limits of intellectual property rights. In doing so, it relies on a network of talented lawyers within the Center for Internet and Society, as well as attorneys in law firms and public interest organizations that are dedicated to advancing the mission of the FUP.


About the Center for Internet and Society

Founded by Stanford Law Professor Lawrence Lessig in 2001, the Center for Internet and Society is a public interest technology law and policy program at Stanford Law School which engages students, academics, technologists and policy makers in exploring the interactions between technology, law, and society.

A judge will decide, but the involvement of the Stanford Fair Use Project sends a message that top-notch lawyers think this is valid fair use and that this case is important for the protection of filmmakers' rights.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Another Science Question "Settled For All Time" By a Federal Court

Thanks to Mike Gene, here is a quote from the textbook Principles of Heredity, published in 1935. It concerns the Buck v. Bell decision:

The constitutionality of eugenic sterilization has been settled for all time by the famous case of Buck vs. Bell. In this case Carrie Buck, an incorrigible feeble-minded girl in the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-minded of Virginia, was recommended by the superintendent for sterilization. The case was appealed to the Circuit court of the county, which sustained the decision of the Board of Directors of the state institution. The case was then carried to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, which sustained the law. Finally, it was carried to the Supreme Court of the United States. On May 2, 1927, Mr. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the decision of the court, upholding the constitutionality of the statute. In this decision appeared the now famous phrase “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

I would put Judge Jones' decision in Kitzmiller right up there with Buck v. Bell. I anticipate that it will have a similar legacy.

For some even more offensive quotes (promoting eugenics and scientific racism) from the textbook that John Scopes used to teach a pseudo-scientific blend of evolution and eugenics, read here. (By the way, those quotes were conveniently left out of the movie Inherit the Wind.)

Related posts:

Why School Boards and Teachers Should Make Decisions Based On Edwards v. Aguillard, and Ignore Kitzmiller

Celebrating the Arrangement of Deck Chairs On the Titanic (Why the Kitzmiller decision may not last long)