Several months ago, radio personality Michael Savage sued the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for copyright infringement (plus some RICO charges) because they rebroadcast just over four minutes from his radio show on their website in order to point out his use of anti-Muslim messaging, encourage advertiser boycotts, and raise awareness and money for CAIR's activities. CAIR (represented by EFF and Tom Burke of DWT) moved to dismiss claiming among other things that the use of the clip was a fair use.
Today, Judge Illston of the Northern District of California dismissed the suit, agreeing that the use of the material for commentary and criticism was a classic fair use.
Specifically, Illston held:
The complaint affirmatively asserts that the purpose and character of [CAIR's] use of the limited excerpts from the radio show was to criticize publicly the anti-Muslim message of those excerpts. To comment on [Savage's] statements without reference or citation to them would not only render [CAIR's] criticism less reliable, but be unfair to [Savage]. Further, it was not unreasonable for defendants to provide the actual audio excerpts, since they reaffirmed the authenticity of the criticized statements and provided the audience with the tone and manner in which plaintiff made the statements.
Check out the opinion here.