Court Throws Out Michael Savage Copyright Case. Hope For Redlasso? No

A federal judge said an Islamic organisation is more than welcome to post audio clips from conservative radio host Michael Savage, and even use them to raise money, ruling that it all falls under fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.

Savage brought the suit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) last year, arguing that they took his statements out of context and used them to harm his public image and raise money.

But Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco ruled CAIR was allowed to post the clip under fair use because the material was used for the purpose of commentary and because CAIR didn’t harm the market value of the original.

There’s an interesting parallel between this ruling and the situation facing Redlasso, which has been sued by Fox and NBC and decided to shut down their service on Monday.

Redlasso allows anyone to easily access and post TV news clips on the Web, which are most often used for commentary. Big difference: Fox and NBC aren’t alleging what the blogs or media organisations are doing — reposting video — is wrong. They are alleging that the tool that they use to find the clips and repost them — in this case, Redlasso — is infringing.

NBC and Fox will no doubt argue that Redlasso was intending to build a business on gathering up clips for others to use, and that business rightfully belonged to NBC and Fox, not Redlasso. Which is too bad, because Redlasso’s service was probably better than anything they’d be able to muster. But that Redlasso shut down its service on Monday is an indication it had hoped to strike a deal with the networks and never really believed it would win in court.

See Also:
Web Clip Service Redlasso Shuts Down. Bloggers Weep
Fox, NBC, Make Good On Threat, Sue Web Clip Service Redlasso
Redlasso: Let’s Hope Some Retired Studio Bigs Can Save Us

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