Talk Radio Host Accuses Critic Of Copyright Infringement... And Racketeering?

from the for-a-bit-of-criticsm? dept

Radio talk show host Michael Savage apparently isn't as open to accepting criticism as he is in dishing it out. He's suing the Council on American-Islamic Relations for copyright infringement, because CAIR used clips from Savage's show to respond to, and criticize, his statements. That's a perfectly reasonable fair use of copyrighted content. It seems clear that this is merely an attempt to bully and silence a critic. To add even more weight to that claim, Savage isn't just claiming copyright infringement, but racketeering. The reasoning behind the racketeering charge isn't entirely clear (and from the EFF's response about the problems with Savage's filings, it sounds like the reasoning isn't clear to even those who made the racketeering claim), but the idea that posting some radio clips and criticizing them could be seen as racketeering seems pretty ridiculous.

Filed Under: cair, copyright, criticism, michael savage, racketeering


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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 4 Feb 2008 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mike Masnick is a fool to take the sid

    If you're simply going to quote from one party's filing, why not quote from the others as well? The EFF does a pretty damning job of showing how Savage's filing doesn't actually show any copyright infringement and makes claims not consistent with the law.

    "The courts will decide upon the merits, but it's not like there are many freedom fighters in today's society that have standing to fight this battle."

    Ok. Sorry, but when you reach the point of claiming that a copyright infringement lawsuit is about "freedom fighters" "putting themselves at risk" you've officially gone over the edge.

    If the group is supporting terrorist activities report them to the FBI. Don't sue them for copyright infringement. If the group has defamed you, sue them for defamation. The use of copyright here seems clearly designed to stifle free speech of a critic -- no matter whether that critic is right or wrong. If CAIR is stifling Savage's free speech, then he should go after them for that -- but not using copyright law. And, as the EFF notes, there's little evidence that CAIR is doing anything to stifle Savage's ability to speak freely. Getting sponsors to give up their sponsorship is hardly stifling free speech.

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