Yoko Ono sues to remove John Lennon song from film

'Filmmakers looted my rights,' she says

Yoko Ono has sued makers of a film about intelligent design to keep them from using John Lennon‘s song ‘Imagine’ in it.

Ono contends that the makers of ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’ did not ask for her permission to use her late husband’s famous song, and have thereby infringed on the song’s copyright.

The filmmakers admitted they did not ask Ono for permission, but argue they are protected by the “fair use” doctrine, which permits small parts of a copyrighted work to be used without an author’s permission under certain circumstances, reports the Associated Press.

The filmmakers’ lawyer, Anthony T Falzone, argued their case in US District Court in Manhattan this week. He said that if the judge grants Ono‘s request, it would “muzzle” his clients’ right to freedom of speech.

The film itself supports the idea of intelligent design – a popular pseudo-scientific theory that argues for the existence of God – and reportedly argues against the lyrics in Lennon‘s song: “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too”.

Ono has said that she is not asking that the film be removed from theatres, simply that the song be removed from the film.

“One of the most basic rights I control by reviewing and choosing licenses is the right to say ‘no’,” she said. “The filmmakers simply looted me of the ability to do so.”

The film, starring Ben Stein, was released in the US in April and is due to come out in Canada on June 6.

–By our Los Angeles staff.

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