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John Greyson at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel, April 23, 2009.

tim fraser The Globe and Mail

A screening of filmmaker John Greyson's 1991 short The Making of Monsters was cancelled within hours of its Sunday-evening presentation at the Art Gallery of Ontario because of a long-standing copyright dispute over the songs.

The film, about anti-gay violence, parodies songs by the late composer Kurt Weill (including Mack the Knife).

Although the songs have been in the public domain since 2001, Greyson says music publisher Warner-Chappell has acted to prevent their use because Weill's estate objects to the fanciful depiction of Weill and Bertolt Brecht as gay fish.

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The Canadian Film Centre, which owns the film, said it had made a newly mastered digital print of the film, hoping that Warner-Chappell's issues with the film could be resolved.

In the end, it wasn't. The film was to be shown as part of a weekend retrospective of Greyson's films co-presented by the AGO, Vtape and the Toronto International Film Festival.

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