Today, a San Francisco court dismissed right wing conservative talk radio Michael Savage’s copyright infringement lawsuit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Savage sued them for using his own words in four minutes of excerpts where Savage called the Quran a “hateful little book” and said that Muslims were “screaming for the blood of Christians or Jews or anyone they hate” and called for an advertising boycott.
He also claimed in his suit that the group was engaged in racketeering, describing it as a “mouthpiece of international terror” that helped to fund the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The council called those allegations preposterous, denied any connection to terrorism and said Savage was trying to intimidate and silence a critical voice.
The judge in the case, U. S. District Judge Susan Illston, said that Savage offered no evidence supporting his claim. She also said that “anyone who listens to a public broadcast is entitled to take excerpts and use them for purposes of comment and criticism” and that “reprinting small portions of a copyrighted work for those purposes helps to put it in context and benefits both the public and the target of the criticism.” In addition, Illston said that the ideas Savage put forth (as the basis of the lawsuit) were ideas constitutionally protected.
In dismissing the racketeering claim, Illston said that even if Savage could prove his “alarming allegations” that the council was part of a worldwide terrorist conspiracy, he hasn’t shown how those activities affected him or his broadcast.
Savage and his attorneys plan to rewrite the racketeering portion of the lawsuit.
“We are prepared to file a very detailed and well-documented new complaint” for racketeering, said attorney Daniel Horowitz, without going into detail. He said Illston’s ruling was “very carefully thought-out” even if its conclusion was unwelcome.
A spokesman for the council basically said Bring It On.
Ahmed Rehab, a spokesman for the council, said it “will continue to stand up to Savage’s bigotry and will not be bogged down by his knack for retaliatory fluff lawsuits.”
It’s a bitch when your own words of hatred and bigotry are used against you, eh, Michael?