Michael Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Order Granting Summary Judgment



Nationally syndicated conservative radio host Michael Savage filed a lawsuit against CAIR, the Counsel on American-Islamic Relations. The lawsuit claims that the Muslim group had misused copyright material from his show for fund raising and propaganda.

CAIR used clips from Savage’s radio show to illustrate what they call “bigoted statements.” A remix of some of those statements can be found on CAIR’s Website at:

http://www.cair.com/audio/savage_102907.asp. This link was included in an action alert from November 16th asking CAIR’s constituents to contact AT&T to pull advertising from Savages radio program.

CAIR filed a motion for summary judgment, asking a U.S. District Court judge to throw out a copyright infringement suit brought by talk show host. Savage amended his complaint twice in response to the motion for summary judgment and court orders.


Was CAIR's use of Savages copyrighted clips from his radio show fair use?

Ruling in this Document:

Grant of Summary Judgment for the Defendant CAIR. The use of the clips was found to be fair use. The court relied on

Hustler Magazine, Inc.

v. Moral Majority Inc., 796 F.2d 1148, 1151 (9th Cir. 1986) and Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 577 (1994) to come to this outcome.

The opinion includes balancing of the 4 factor test under Section 107 of the Copyright Act.

"The complaint affirmatively asserts that the purpose and character of [CAIR's] use of the limited excerpts from the radio show was to criticize publicly the anti-Muslim message of those excerpts. To comment on [Savage's] statements without reference or citation to them would not only render [CAIR's] criticism less reliable, but be unfair to [Savage]. Further, it was not unreasonable for defendants to provide the actual audio excerpts, since they reaffirmed the authenticity of the criticized statements and provided the audience with the tone and manner in which plaintiff made the statements."

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Reference Info:Decision | Federal, 9th Circuit, California | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Brian Rowe, Freedom for IP | Attorney Advertising

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