UPDATE, 12:39 PM: Google isn’t taking a court order to take down the 14-minute trailer for Innocence Of Muslims lying down. YouTube‘s parent company filed an emergency motion at the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals late yesterday urging it to stay its order pending a full en banc hearing. Google’s 29-page motion raised First Amendment concerns and alleged that there’d be copyright “chaos” for everyone — especially Hollywood — if minor players in a production can assert a right to control its fate. Service providers including YouTube lack the ability to determine who has a valid copyright claim, the search giant says. “And absent a stay, Google, YouTube, and the public face irreparable harm because the panel’s order will gag their speech and limit access to newsworthy documents—categorically irreparable injuries.” In a case than lasted more than a year and a half, the court sided with actress Cindy Lee Garcia who wanted the trailer for the anti-Islam film taken down. We’ll see what the Ninth Circuit says.
PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY AM: Actress Cindy Lee Garcia has won a significant victory in her copyright case against Google over her request to have Google-owned YouTube take down the trailer for the controversial anti-Islam film Innocence Of Muslims. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision today (read it here) rejected Google’s assertion that the removal of the film amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution. The court is ordering YouTube to remove the video, and the video-sharing site could be hit with major penalties. “We are delighted that the Ninth Circuit has recognized the significant threat to Cindy Lee Garcia’s life and safety caused by Google and YouTube’s refusal to remove the propaganda film Innocence Of Muslims from the YouTube platform after Ms. Garcia made eight separate requests that they do so,” Garcia’s lawyer M. Cris Armenta said today after the verdict. Garcia had lost a lower-court ruling requesting the video be removed, but the 9th Circuit today called that decision an “abuse of discretion” and said Garcia “was likely to prevail” on the copyright claim, according to the opinion from Chief Judge Alex Kozinski.
Posted online in September 2012, the 14-minute trailer for Innocence Of Muslims caused violent protests around the Muslim world and calls for the filmmaker’s death. Garcia, who also received death threats, has long claimed she never signed a release form for her participation in the film, which was originally titled Desert Warriors. She has used that lack of a release to assert her own copyright over Innocence in trying to get YouTube it take it down.