UPDATE, 3:29 PM: Google got some swift justice today, but it wasn’t the type it wanted. The 9th Circuit Appeals has decided it does not want to conduct an all-judges rehearing of the tech giant’s appeal in the Innocence Of Muslims copyright case. “A vote of the non-recused active judges was conducted as to whether to rehear the panel order en banc,” read an order (read it here) from the court today after Judge Sidney Thomas talked to his colleagues. “A majority of the non-recused active judges did not vote in favor of rehearing en banc.” This sua sponte action of Thomas’ own initiative comes two days after the tech giant requested a full rehearing by the appeals court. On February 19, a 9th Circuit panel sided with actress Cindy Lee Garcia and decided 2-1 that YouTube had to take down the controversial anti-Islam film Innocence Of Muslims. With today’s order, this is Google’s third loss in a row in its appeal. “Therefore, the panel shall resume control of the case,” added today’s 2-page order. “Any further proceedings as to the panel opinion, including any petitions for rehearing and rehearing en banc, will be considered separately.”
Related: Google Allowed To Post Edited ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Video Online Says Court
PREVIOUS, MARCH 13 PM: It has struck out two times in a row so far, but Google isn’t giving up its legal battle to get the Innocence Of Muslims video back on YouTube. In an expected en banc rehearing request this week against the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2-1 decision of February 19 in favor of actress Cindy Lee Garcia ordering the controversial 14-minute trailer taken offline, the tech giant says the Copyright Office is on its side.
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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 … Read More »
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. Read More »
As members of Congress today grilled Hillary Clinton about the death of Americans in Benghazi, Libya, Republican Rep. Joe Wilson asked why U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on Sunday news shows … Read More »
The release form suddenly provided this week by Innocence Of Muslims filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef is a “forgery”, lawyers for actress Cindy Lee Garcia said today — and they’ve got an expert who agrees with them. Of course, it might not matter because Judge Michael Fitzgerald today canceled a scheduled December 3rd hearing on whether Garcia’s copyright claims to the film would give her the authority to request that YouTube take down the movie’s 14-minute trailer. The judge, who denied a previous injunction attempt by Garcia, said the actress hasn’t “established a likelihood of success based on the merits” of her case. “If Ms. Garcia is financially able, her legal team intends to file a motion for an immediate appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Garcia’s attorney Cris Armenta said this afternoon, calling the film a “heinous piece of hate speech.” Read More »
Jailed Innocence Of Muslims filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef still wants the world to be able to watch the controversial trailer of the anti-Islam film on YouTube. “Mr. Youssef said he believes in the message contained in the film and he does not want the trailer to be removed from YouTube,” said a filing (read it here) Wednesday by Google’s lawyers. The 14-minute trailer was the cause of violent protests around the Muslim world. Earlier this week, an Egyptian court sentenced Youssef and six others associated with the film to death in absentia. Timothy Alger, the attorney for YouTube owners Google, visited Youssef at LA’s Metropolitan Detention Center on Tuesday to get information from him in relation to actress Cindy Lee Garcia’s legal attempts to have the trailer removed from the Internet. “Mr. Youssef said that while other people assisted with the direction and production of the film, it was his creation, and he retains control over the film. He told me that his son uploaded both the English language and Arabic versions of the trailer for the film, now entitled Innocence Of Muslims, to YouTube at his request,” says Alger in the filing. Youssef, who is in jail for a year on parole violations related to a 2010 bank fraud case, has gone by various aliases including “Nakoula Basseley Nakoula“ and “Sam Bessi.” Read More »
A California filmmaker and six others said to be behind the anti-Islam film Innocence Of Muslims have been sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court. “The seven accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating … Read More »
A peaceful protest by several thousand people closed Buckingham Palace Road in London for 3 hours on Sunday as demonstrators called for Google’s YouTube to remove the Innocence Of Muslims video that sparked deadly violence last month. According to UK media reports, this was the first in a planned series of civil actions against the film ahead of a million-person march in Hyde Park in the coming weeks. One organizer told The Telegraph that further protests will be held at other Google and YouTube offices. As many as 800 imams in mosques across Britain helped arrange the demonstration, the newspaper said. A YouTube spokesperson said: “We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions. This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video – which is widely available on the Web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube.” Read More »
While Innocence Of Muslims producer Mark Basseley Youssef, aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, sits in a Los Angeles jail awaiting a Nov. 9 probation violation hearing, the fallout from his anti-Islam video continues. The leader of Al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over after the death of Osama bin Laden last year, has praised last month’s attacks in Cairo and Benghazi which were spurred on by the crudely-made film and has called for more protests outside U.S. embassies, Reuters reports. Four U.S. diplomats were killed in the Libyan violence including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. In a recording posted to Islamist websites today, Zawahiri called the violence “honest and zealous,” according to The Guardian. Zawahiri further called on “free and distinguished zealots for Islam” to “continue their opposition to American crusader Zionist aggression against Islam and Muslims.”
After the Cairo and Benghazi attacks, deadly protests of the film that lampoons the Prophet Mohammad spread throughout the Muslim world over a two-week period. Zawahiri said U.S. authorities Read More »
From Dominic Patten in Los Angeles & Nancy Tartaglione in Europe:
FRIDAY PM, 39TH UPDATE WRITETHRU: U.S. intelligence officials issued a statement today saying they now believe the 9/11 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya was a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack” and not sparked by Muslim reaction to the American-made film Innocence Of Muslims. The statement by the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that it represented a change in the U.S. intelligence assessment of how and why the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans happened. A spokesman for Clapper’s office says U.S. agencies initially believed the attack had begun spontaneously after protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo over the film that lampoons the Prophet Mohammad. But as more was learned, officials revised their initial assessment to reflect new information that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists. He said it remains unclear if any individual or specific group ordered the attack.
Related: Film Producer Of Anti-Islam ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Arrested And Jailed
Following President Barack Obama’s address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, a right-wing Pakistani Islamist told Reuters the president’s statements “have caused a religious war.” In Tuesday remarks, Obama explained why the Innocence Of Muslims video has not been banned in the U.S., citing the Constitutional right to free speech. On Wednesday, Hafiz Saeed, who has been accused by India of masterminding a 2008 attack in Mumbai that killed 166 people, called for the filmmakers to be handed over “to us” if the U.S. can’t take tough action against them, Reuters reports. India has repeatedly called on Pakistan to bring Saeed, who has denied any wrongdoing, to justice and Washington has offered a $10M reward for information leading to his capture. Read More »
BREAKING… UPDATE 5:45 PM: U.S. District Court Judge Suzanne Segal has ruled that the anti-Islam Innocence Of Muslims film producer known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula will be held in the Metropolitan Detention Center after his arrest earlier … Read More »
YouTube has blocked access from Egypt and Libya to clips of Innocence Of Muslims, the amateur film that is considered the impetus to violence that killed four American diplomats, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, … Read More »
The online trailer for Innocence Of Muslims, a movie written, produced and directed by amateur filmmaker Sam Bacile, is being blamed for sparking deadly demonstrations in Cairo and Benghazi on Tuesday. The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed during the uprisings, leading to increased tensions in the Middle East. As a result, Bacile, who has no discernible film industry credits and told The Wall Street Journal “Islam is a cancer”, has gone into hiding, The Associated Press reports. Read More »