Skip to comments.Court Rules Fair Use, Dismisses Radio Host's Suit
Posted on 07/31/2008 11:56:25 AM PDT by Jim Robinson
A federal judge has dismissed radio host Michael Savage's copyright infringement lawsuit against the Counsel on American-Islamic Relations, which had posted excerpts of one of his programs online.
Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco ruled that the clips, totaling four minutes out of the two-hour Savage Nation program that ran on Oct. 29, 2007, constituted a fair use.
"Defendants used plaintiff's material in order to criticize and comment on plaintiff's statements and views," Illston wrote in the 21-page ruling.
Savage filed suit for copyright infringement and racketeering last December. Among other allegations, Savage asserted that the CAIR took his statements out of context in order to harm his public image as well as to help the organization raise funds. The clips were excerpted from a program in which Savage said, "The Quran is a document of slavery and chattel," and that Islam is "a religion that teaches convert or kill, a religion that says oppress women, kill homosexuals."
Illston discounted both arguments. She ruled that even if the organization used the clips to raise money, doing so would have been a fair use of Savage's work. "The sum of plaintiff's allegations and evidence demonstrate that there will be no actual or potential market impact on the original work," she wrote. "The audience that might donate and listen to the audio segment on defendants' Web site is separate from the audience that plaintiff possibly could stand to profit from in using his Web site to sell the audio content at issue."
(Excerpt) Read more at mediapost.com ...
Well Jim, this opens up a lot of possibilities on FR.
Are you in disagreement with the ruling?
I love it. Take that Weiner. Now you can get back to stabbing conservatives in the back and being jealous of other talk show hosts that have more talent than you.
It’s a grey area.
Rebroadcast an NFL highlight and the league is all over you like white on rice. We here at FR use quotes and copy parts of copyrighted material all the time, so I think a lot depends on who is using what, and whether they are benefiting from it financially is key also.
In this case though I think this judge would have sided with the defense considering who the plaintiff was if she had even the tiniest bit of ambiguity.
Perhaps another judge would have decided differently, I can’t rule out a little prejudice from this lady at all.
why do you love a victory by CAIR?
As far as this site is concerned though it would set a nice precedence for our use of broadcasts to refute statements.
That begs a question, if we are having a Freepathon and asking for donations on the page along with a copyrighted posted material does that open the site up for the monetary benefit laws on fair use?
I am shocked! Shocked I tell you! To think that an honorable Klinton appointee would treat Savage that way!
So you’re in favor of terrorists? Interesting.....
“I love it. Take that Weiner. Now you can get back to stabbing conservatives in the back and being jealous of other talk show hosts that have more talent than you.”
Savage fully expected to lose this one. Can’t say I agree with your characterization of the guy, either. He’s been far more of a conservative than a party hack.
Michael Sewage lost? Thank God he didn’t waste his own money!
Whoa! Holy blockquote, Batman, does this open us up for embedded commentary for AP work product?
Who is more Conservative, Michael Weiner or Juan McAmnesty?
Savage knew he was going to lose in the end ,, you always do when you’re going up against Saudi oil money ,, the funny thing is that he got his point out , the long excerpts used by CAIR spell out clearly why CAIR and fanatical Muslims in general are so very dangerous, everything in the audio is TRUE and CAIR couldn’t refute it with facts.
We now have it on the record that CAIR raised money for terrorist orgs and that itself is a victory and will be a great tool in the future.
Tough call. It's like rooting for the Nazis against the Soviets or vice versa. Pox on em all.
No. As long as Jim is using acceptable excerpts and the intended purpose is discussion and analysis, it makes it a transformative work.
In other words, Jim is not making money off the original excerpt, but primarily the discussions that follow. This is actually an important ruling for FR because it establishes a precedent for the “transformative” argument, which was used by Jim's counsel “Clarity” in the trial long ago.
But it never got that far because at the time Jim/FR wanted to use full text articles, a no-no.
The Fair Use clause relies on three major “tests”. The amount of original material being used, it's intended use and how much it impact the authors ability to derive income from that work..
In this case the court ruled the suit had no merit because 1. the plaintiffs only used 4 minutes of the show (which I think is questionable. As far as a newspaper is concerned the court sees each individual article as a separate “work”. I don't see why this same standard wasn't applied to Savages segments), 2. it was for discussion and analysis, and 3, it ultimately had little impact on the income of the author (which I also disagree with. The judge goes through some legal esoteric contortions to claim that the readers at the CAIR site would not benefit Savage anyway, but if they had posted a shorter excerpt and a link, Savage WOULD have benefited from that traffic.
IMO Savage has grounds for an appeal on 2 of the three “tests” that the judge may have ruled on incorrectly.
"Susan Yvonne Illston is a San Francisco, California-based judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on January 23, 1995 and confirmed by the Senate on May 25, 1995"
Compadre Judge Illston (following orders) as expected
Savage needs to file for appeal based on the contention that a substantial portion of “the work” was used and that he did lose income by not getting linked from CAIR and lost noT ONLY THAT TRAFFIC BUT potential new readers/listeners.
To prove the second point all he has to do is show all the calls or comments he gets from adversaries and opponents.
A case could be made that a significant (20-30%?) portion of his audience and customers are people that disagree with his views.
He’s a shock jock, that’s what he does and that’s how he derives his income. This judge basically ruled he has no copyright protection based on that, but it was a Clinton appointed judge.
IMO, if it had been a liberal show host the ruling would have been different. But that’s what liberal judges do and one more reason why we need to make sure Obama doesn’t get into the White House.
Thanks, I’m not a lawyer but I know that as soon as even the slightest mention of money is involved it can cause quite a stir with copyrighted works verses Fair Use.
Personally I do think the decision as it stands is a plus for us here to use as a precedence for the likes of AP and Gannett.
I would be standing on the sidelines and watching the debate from the balcony section of course, my wife gets mad if I stay at the Holiday Inn too often anymore...
You mean you want him to stop speaking out against radical Muslims?
I honestly believe that radical Muslims have attacked our Country and will continue to do so. You don't make a lick of sense!
You don't make a lick of sense.
You "love it" that Mike took it in the chops from a Clinton appointee? That terrorist-front CAIR won an apparent victory? Don't you have your priorities a little unhinged?
You're schadenfreuding for the wrong party, my friend. I've listened to Savage countless time, and never felt "stabbed in the back" even when I disagreed vehemently with him.
Let me tell you, there's more figurative stabbings in the back, front and sideways going on these days on some hot Veep and religion FR threads than I hear on the Savage Nation.
He's jealous of other hosts? Give me a break. Mike's #3 in the nation, behind only Rush and Hannity. Maybe YOU'RE the one that's jealous of Mike's success in this tough world.
Money complicates the issue but it is not definitive. If someone created a site that did nothing but post excerpts with no links to copyrighted works, no discussion and made money off it, it is a debatable fair use.
As long as Jim keeps excerpting (within reason), linking and sports the reader acessed bulletin board, he is in good shape.
I think his decision about the AP was more out of emotion than reality. The AP can puff all they want but the courts decide fair use. The downside is the AP could use FR as it’s test case and Jim doesn’t have the money nor probably wants to fight another lawsuit, even if the chances of winning were pretty good.
But I doubt the AP would do that, there are bigger fish and more important targets than FR>
Not if the quotes are from AP! I hope you are aware of that:)
2 Attorneys dissagree.
So Wiener got slapped....
The only one I see here stabbing conservatives in the back is you. That you would side with the terrorist shagging CAIR over Michael Savage is sickening.
how has he stabbed conservatives in the back. I bet you are one of the butt monkeys that voted for mccain in the primaries, or wanted RUDY....talk about back stabbing
yobosayo TSN QUEEN
He Gave Jerry Brown $2000
Yep. I paraphrase everything off of an AP story now just to be on the safe side, with some spelling errors thrown in for good measure.
holy smakies, he gave moonbeam 2g? I heard he had chuckie shumer on his show. I hear he also hate autistic children...............STFU
liberal Weiner gets slapped down
And AP will, of course, stop threatening lawsuits over copyright infringement, right?/sarc
(As a Savage fan, I still expected this. Fair use should cover a lot of ground. I still wanted to see CAIR dragged thru court via discovery, though.)
Check out the status-quo Weiner responses to the Weiner/Moonbeam-Brown critics on this thread. (maybe Weiner can hyphenate his name Weiner-Moonbeam)
If you don't like that faux conservative Weiner-Moonbeam, then you are a McCain voting, CAIR membership, GOP tool.
Oh I knew I was going to hear from a lot of people on this on. First lets go through them. I didnt vote form McLame and I am no fan of Rudy. I voted for Thompson. I am not siding with CAIR, I am speaking out against a little troll who felt the need to bring a frivolous lawsuit into court. And yes, Weiner does stab conservatives in the back. Have you heard how he talks about Rush and Hannity and his little sophmoric names for them. Weiner is not #3 and his ratings are declining. Levin beats him in every market Levin is in. Weiner better pray Levin doesnt pick up anymore affiliates. Speaking of Levin, Weiner should have taken Levin advice on how to go about his lawsuit. Weiner just might have won. And to top it all off, a guy that makes his kind of money has to ask his listeners help him out monetarily with his lawsuit? Very liberal of him. As far as Weiner being a conservative, well I guess the same could be said about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. He is no conservative. He is a hack. He found a niche and it makes money for him. He would rather skinny dip with a gay poet. He has sucked up to the likes of Chuck Schumer and has contributed to Democrats. I dont think a true conservative would do that.
Ahem - we are not discussing who SAVAGE contributes money to, we are discussing the fact the his case against TERRORISTS has been thrown out, something you seem to be overjoyed about.......make all the excuses you want, the fact remains you prefer TERRORISTS over an American citizen.
You say Savage trashes conservatives and include examples. I will address one (and the others if you choose).
I am doing this hoping that others who may not know the facts see this. I have listened to Savage for more than 12 years.
Schumer opposed handing over our ports to a Middle Eastern country to manage. Conservatives were against handing over our ports to a Middle Eastern country to manage. Many Republicans wanted to hand over the management of our ports to the UAE.
Schumer was on for that one reason and that one reason only: defeat the Republicans, et al who wanted to hand over the management of our ports to the UAE. Schumer acknowledged that the invite surprised him because Savage always bashed him on all other issues and, in fact, Savage still does that.
Savage bashes some Republicans as does another favorite of mine, Mark Levin.
Hannity plays nice with liberals alot more often than Savage does: he frequently allows Sharpton, Schumer and other liberals to take up airtime a lot more than Savage ever does. By your logic, Hannity is the liberal, not Savage.
I love Michael Savage.
Correction, Savage stabs Republicanism in the back when it deserts conservative principles and all those who in the name of conservatism continue to carry the water for them as Rush and Hannity both have done.
Weiner is not #3 and his ratings are declining.
Correction, Savage by all radio industry accounts still ranks #3 unless you have stats to back up your wishful thinking.
Levin beats him in every market Levin is in.
Correction, Levin beat Savage in N.Y., you have no evidence that he beats Savage in every market that they're both in, again wishful thinking on your part.
Weiner better pray Levin doesnt pick up anymore affiliates.
Levin can only gain affiliates if Savage loses his and there's no evidence save one or two that Savage will be losing his.
As far as Weiner being a conservative, well I guess the same could be said about Ruth Bader Ginsberg. He is no conservative. He is a hack.
Last time I looked FreeRepublic was one of the premier conservative forums in the country and Savage, NOT Air America has a daily thread on it, think about it.
He would rather skinny dip with a gay poet.
Since you're in Long Island why don't you go seek out NYC Republican and the both of you go skinny-dipping in the sewers of Greenwich Village somewhere, you both sound identical in thought, I would almost think you were bed-mates err, I mean soul-mates but I digress........
With all the problems this country is faced with, enemies both foreign and domestic, certain freeper 'useful idiots' seem to think that Savage is the enemy so they get in bed with CAIR and Media Matters, La Raza, and other devious liberal organizations trying to get the 'liberal' Savage off the air for making conservatism look bad, just how much effin' sense does that make? If it wasn't so nauseating it would be laughable.
And Savage loves America
I think he should have tired RICO on them and fleshed out a little bit, maybe he could find the proof, tho surely it exists.