Despite Google‘s best legal efforts, you won’t be seeing the controversial Innocence Of Muslims trailer on YouTube anytime soon – at least not the version with actress Cindy Lee Garcia in it. On Friday, the tech giant was denied its second emergency stay motion against the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 decision of February 19 ordering the video wiped off YouTube. That order was made public on February 26 and while Google tried to quickly get the right to have the video online during the appeal process, it failed – kind of. “Google, Inc. shall take down all copies of Innocence of Muslims from YouTube.com and from any other platforms under Google’s control, and take all reasonable steps to prevent further uploads of Innocence of Muslims to those platforms. Google shall comply with this order within twenty-four hours of the issuance thereof,” said the 3-judge panel in its 2-page order on February 28 (read it here). While this reaffirms the court’s earlier decision, it does make a small but important change in regards to the 2012 14-minute video and the actress who launched the copyright case against it. A change that gives Google and anyone else who wants to post the video some wiggle room. “This order does not preclude the posting or display of any version of Innocence of Muslims that does not include Cindy Lee Garcia’s performance,” adds the order of Garcia’s 5-second appearance in the video.
Posted online in September 2012, the trailer for Innocence Of Muslims caused violent protests around the Muslim world and calls for the filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef’s death. Not long after the video attracted international attention, Youssef was jailed for a year on parole violations related to a 2010 bank fraud case. He has since been released. California-based Garcia, who has long said she also received death threats, claims she never signed a release form for her participation in the film. Originally entitled Desert Warriors, Garcia has additionally said that the film she thought she was appearing in was very different that the one that showed up online. The actress and her attorney Cris Armenta have used that lack of a release to assert her own copyright over Innocence in trying to get YouTube it take it down.
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