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Savage Sues CAIR For Copyright Infringement

LAFAYETTE, CA -- November 30, 2007: Talk Radio Network-syndicated host Michael Savage has filed suit in California against the Council on American-Islamic Relations, saying CAIR is using a four-plus-minute clip of Savage's show Savage Nation for fundraising purposes.

CAIR and sister organization Hate Hurts America Community & Interfaith Coalition have been urging advertisers to withdraw their spots from Savage's show over what they say is a history of anti-Muslim comments. The groups cite OfficeMax, JCPenney, AutoZone, and Wal-Mart as advertisers who have ended their association with the show.

Savage's suit says, "CAIR has misappropriated copyright-protected material from Michael Savage and made this material available on its website. This is actionable, regardless even if CAIR had a genuine charitable purpose in using Michael Savage's material."

CAIR has been given written notice of the infringement, according to the suit, but has not taken the material off its website.

After noting that "even genuine charities" must get permission before using copyrighted material, the suit continues, "The CAIR misappropriation was done for political purposes unrelated to civil rights and unrelated to CAIR's tax-exempt status." According to its website, CAIR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit civil rights and advocacy group.

The suit goes on to say that CAIR "manipulated" the content for fundraising purposes by taking it out of context, thus obscuring Savage's intended message. CAIR therefore "destroyed the value of the copyright material and the performance as a whole, at least to the extent that people gave credence to the CAIR packaging of the content," says the suit.

The suit also says any success of the advertiser boycott effort was "due to the copyright infringement and the false context in which the material was presented."

As of this posting, a compilation of clips from Savage's show remained available at CAIR's website.

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