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Expelled producers accused of copyright infringement


On April 9, 2008, XVIVO, the animation company which produced an award-winning animation of "The Inner Life of the Cell," charged producers of a forthcoming "intelligent design" film with copyright infringement. In a letter to Logan Craft, chairman of Premise Media Corp., the producer of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (featuring Ben Stein), XVIVO claimed that a segment of Expelled portraying the complexity of the cell is patterned upon segments of their well-known animation, produced on behalf of Harvard University.

Biologist P. Z. Myers, who was interviewed for the film, has posted a side-by-side comparison of the animations in Expelled with the XVIVO animation, writing, "do notice that they both have roughly the same layout and the same elements in view; this is a remarkable, umm, coincidence, since these are highly edited, selected renderings, with many molecules omitted ... and curiously, they've both left out the same things."

In their letter (PDF), XVIVO's David Bolinsky and Michael Astrachan contended that:
We have obtained promotional material for the "Expelled" film, presented on a DVD, that clearly shows in the "cell segment" the virtual identical depiction of material from the "inner life" video. We particularly refer to the segment of the "Expelled" film purporting to show the "walk in" models of kinesic activities in cellular mechanisms. The segments depicting these models in your film are clearly based upon, and copied from, material in the "Inner Life" video.
XVIVO demanded that Premise Media "remove the infringing segment from all copies of the 'Expelled" film prior to its scheduled commercial release on or before April 18, 2008."