Fair Use Project Sues Michael Savage For Stifling Free Speech Of His Critics

from the yet-again dept

You may recall the lawsuit earlier this year, where radio talk show host Michael Savage tried to sue one of his critics for copyright infringement. The group in question had a pretty clear fair use claim, as they were using Savage’s radio broadcasts for commentary and to respond to Savage’s attacks on the group. And, in fact, a judge wasted little time explaining fair use to Savage, and tossing out the lawsuit.

However, it appears that Savage hasn’t yet learned his lesson on fair use, as he’s apparently been sending more takedown notices to folks who use his recordings and respond critically to Savage’s on-air claims. In this case, the production company Brave New Films created a similar video critiquing Savage’s statements. Savage’s syndicator sent out a DMCA takedown notice — something it clearly should have known was questionable given the recent lawsuit results. So, now, the Fair Use Project is suing Michael Savage and his syndicator, Original Talk Radio Network, on behalf of Brave New Films, for misrepresentations in their DMCA takedown notice.

In the original case, we had some Savage fans show up here in the comments insisting that his misuse of copyright was a good thing, because it would help “expose” the group that was criticizing him as a terrorist front. That’s a ridiculous statement of course. If the group were a terrorist front, then that’s something for the government to deal with — rather than a justification for misusing copyright law. Are we now going to hear that Brave New Films is really a terrorist front as well? Or is it just anyone who criticizes Savage must be a terrorist front, and thus it’s perfectly fine to try to misuse copyright law to shut them up? Free speech doesn’t mean just the speech of people who agree with you.

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Companies: brave new films, fair use project, original talk radio network

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Comments on “Fair Use Project Sues Michael Savage For Stifling Free Speech Of His Critics”

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Anonymous Poster says:

“If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.” – Noam Chomsky

spencermatthewp says:

I like Savage

I do. I am a conservative, and agree with a lot of what Savage has to say. I do think he is a little more toward the cooke fringe than most are. It surprises me that he would do this. As a conservative, we believe in the power of the constitution, and the Bill of rights. One of those rights is the right of Free Speech. It surprises me that Savage would want to suppress someone’s free speech. Unless . . .

That’s not really what he’s doing. Striesand Effect anyone? Could it be that Savage is doing this just to get his name out there a little more? Yeah — that sounds a little more like Michael Savage.

Valkor says:

Re: I like Savage

I like your understatement. Calling Michael Savage a little toward the kook fringe is like calling Michael Jackson or Michael Moore a kook. Moore is probably a better example. Both have some good fundamental ideas, but they also seem to shoot their mouths of far more than is necessary to communicate.

Savage also seems to have a major persecution complex. I don’t know if he’s diagnosably paranoid or not, but he often states that the world is out to get him. No, this isn’t a cleverly engineered reverse Streisand campaign. It’s just an overbearing nut who has decided to fight his fight at all costs. It’s really kind of sad. He has good ideas and makes good points, then buries that in rants about pornographers, pedophiles, and the apocalypse.

Linda says:

Re: Re: I like Savage

Last eve. I accidently tuned in on a Michael Savage radio show. I thought I was hearing a riot in progress or other violent situation. This man sounds very paranoid, full of hate, rage and has no tolerance for anyone except himself and his opinions. So yes, he was exhibiting free speech in his name calling and accusations to callers, whom he could take off the air to prolong his remarks. My response at the time was to turn him off. I was wondering though, who is this person and why people would listen to him rant and rave. Found his web site with no place to comment then found this site. I guess he is among the group of talking heads that only think they are right, such as Limbaugh and Hannity. I just have trouble understanding how these narrow minded people stay on air and are paid to talk this way. If I accidently tune in again I will express my free will and turn him off as I would turn off any person who spews such hate and self indulgence.

LBD says:

Re: I like Savage

Conservatives are for the rights of others. That’s why the united states has NEVER really had a conservative government

If we had a conservative government homosexual marriage, freedom of speech, abortion… all of that would be in the bag.

As it is we have a ‘reactionary traditionalist’ group that calls themselves conservatives.

BobBarker says:

Re: Re: I like Savage

LBD, you have it wrong. The things you quote are not good examples. If we had a conservative government we would support traditional marriage and a union between two same sex people would be called something else, just like you don’t call a peanut butter and jelly sandwich a cheese sandwich because it isn’t. We are for freedom of speech because you got to shoot your mouth off and nobody is coming after you. And lastly, we are for the rights of the unborn to live as opposed to the rights of an individual to kill another human being. Regardless of what you may think, a bab is a human being long before that 9 month. If a person can’t get an abortion within 3 months then they shouldn’t get one at all.

Curious Texan says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I like Savage


You ask why is it OK to execute a human being but not abort a human being. It’s a matter of guilt versus innocence.

If it’s not OK for the State to execute someone who has been tried by a jury of his peers and found to be guilty of what society deems to be the most heinous of crimes, why is it OK to kill the most vulnerable human beings whose only crime is being an inconvenience to their parents? (I’ll concede abortion when the life of the mother is at risk.)

Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 1123 convicted murderers have been executed in the United States (as of October 1, 2008). During that same period, at least 37 million babies were aborted. Even if every one of those executed was wrongly convicted, the ratio of innocent convicts to innocent fetuses is infinitesimal.

It seems that Stalin was predicting conventional wisdom in 21st Century America when he said, “One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.”

jonnyq says:

Re: I like Savage

I’m a conservative, too. I only heard Savage one time, and he sounded like a freaking lunatic.

The particular show I heard had him complaining that other conservatives (i.e. Hannity or Limbaugh) didn’t come to his aid when he went under fire for something. Other conservative hosts probably don’t give a crap about him if they know who he is.

Lucretious (profile) says:

I have to fess up and admit to listening to Savages’ show occasionally…..not because i agree with him but because some of his views are so out there that it ends up as high comedy. FWIW I don’t think he believes in half the shit he espouses but he does know it will get him ratings.

Savage is another in a line of talking heads that have taken over the Republican party using the flag of conservatism to push forth a lot of anti-intellectual, anti-rationalist pro-christian, Pro-Israel garbage. As someone else implied, these people know NOTHING about what being a republican means. Savage is just more idiotic than most

Michael L says:

Entertainment vs News

A big part of the problem is that these people that listen to these shows really believe that the guys on the radio and television are giving qualified opinions, when in reality it is all for entertainment, in fact the #1 news channel in the US is not allowed to list as news in Canada, it has to list as Entertainment/talk because they lack the checks and balanced required of real new agencies… the people that listen to either the far left or right radio shows tend to be extreme in their view and opinions and really can’t be taken seriously, I mean they think Michael Moore is a terrorist? I don’t think he’d pass the Al Quaida fitness training…

Kevin says:

I love Michael Savage!

I love Michael Savage, I really do. I read his column “Savage Love” in The Onion every week. He gives the best and frankly, most realistic advice about uncomfortable sexual situations that I’ve ever heard. I’m especially happy that he and his gay partner (not sure if they’re married yet) had been able to adopt a baby several years back. As I mentioned, I’ve been a fan of his for years. I just didn’t know that he had a radio show, that’s even more awesome.

(yes, I know)

EEJ (profile) says:


I don’t see how allowing 2 people of the same sex to marry harms others in any way…..It certainly doesn’t change the strength, security or meaning of my marriage to my wife.

You claim to be for freedom of speech and yet your party has consistently lobbied for and voted for laws that remove the freedoms of the american people, in exchange for a false sense of security.

You say “regardless of what you may think”, however you don’t offer any proof to the contrary.

The Emperor says:

Re: Re:

To be honest, I don’t see how Gay Marriage will destroy the institution of marriage.

Feminists have done more damage to Marriage than gays will ever do with their No-Fault Divorce and Alimony/Child Support “Entitlement” Scam.

If you really want to protect marriage, than you make divorce unrewarding.

Even if the country makes gay marriage illegal, not one single marriage will be saved or protected from divorce.

D. says:

I think Savage’s point, is that he doesn’t want his copyrighted material, used out of context the way it was. If it wasn’t being used in a smear campaign, and used in context, then it wouldn’t present a problem.

Secondly, if do a few media searches, you’d find out that the liberal hack/judge that threw out Savage’s lawsuit, has other problems as well with his legislating from the bench but that is San Francisco for you. Don’t drink the water.

So I’m thinking that your argument doesn’t present itself very well, without more research included.

This isn’t anything out of the norm for you mike.

On Topic? says:

Reel it back in you nutjobs.

This is a post about free speech and fair use. There are 24 comments and maybe 4 actually stayed on topic.

What it is about the internet that causes every post to turn into a “my team is better than your team, because I said so” argument?

None of you come across as sane individuals. (Except for #1. The Chomsky quote was nice.)

Anyone got anything on the issue of fair use? Anyone?

Curious Texan says:

The case can certainly be made that Savage misused IP law by suing CAIR over what was almost certainly fair use of his copyrighted material. But like so much of the law, it’s not that simple. When dealing with CAIR, the free speech scimitar cuts both ways.

In 2004, CAIR sued Andrew Whitehead, the operator of the website http://www.anti-cair-net.org, for libel. The suit was settled in March 2006, and although the terms of that settlement were confidential, it was reported that “Cair’s interest in settling the suit intensified late last year just as a judge was considering whether the group should be forced to disclose additional details about its inner workings, including its financing and its alleged ties to Hamas and other terrorist groups.” To date, Whitehead’s website continues to operate.

Faced with the prospect of having its financial and political ties discovered, CAIR changed its tactics, but not not its goal of stifling free speech.

When Michael Savage started speaking out against CAIR, rather than suing him, CAIR tried to silence him by putting pressure on his advertisers to withdraw their sponsorship of his show. In an attempt to defend himself, Savage filed suit against CAIR, hoping through the discovery process to unearth the very evidence that would make his case. His causes of action may have been ill-advised, but with his livelihood in the balance, I wish I could think of another way he could defend himself against CAIR’s pressure tactics. Any ideas?

Michael Savage may be wound a little tight, but bear in might that he isn’t a doctrinaire right-winger; he was at the vanguard of exposing the Dubai ports deal a couple years ago, for instance. His style is abrasive, but he’s entitled to his First Amendment rights, too.

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