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 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,” … 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 to face the music immediately following the attack instead of the Secretary of State. “I have to confess, here in public, going on the Sunday shows is not my favorite thing to do,” she replied. “There are other things I’d prefer to do on Sunday mornings. And, you know, I haven’t been on a Sunday show in way over a year. It just isn’t something that I normally jump to do. And I did feel strongly that we had a lot that we had to manage, that I had to respond to, and that that should be my priority.” Clinton testified to Senate and House committees today about the attack by armed militants that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. During questioning by members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton balked at Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s inquiry into the State Dept.’s initial report that the attack had been a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islam YouTube video. “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” Clinton responded, raising her voice at Johnson, who continued to interrupt her. “What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out … 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 in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet,” Egyptian Judge Saif al-Nasr Soliman said today, according to broadcast and wire service reports. The film, which ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad, sparked rioting, violence and deaths in 30 countries in the Mideast, Europe and Asia since it was released in September. Earlier this month, filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef (aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula) was sentenced to a year in prison in California for violating the terms of his probation stemming from a 2010 bank fraud conviction.
Related: Pakistani Islamist Demands Obama Hand Over ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Filmmaker
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 today on probation violations. He will remain in the jail until a revocation hearing is scheduled. The judge said she was detaining him because ”the court has a lack of trust in the defendant”. She explained that he has engaged in a lengthy pattern of deception in a variety of situations, and that he poses “a danger to the community”. Nakoula today told the court that his real name is Mark Basseley Youssef. He is being cited on 8 probation violations for which the probation office is recommending 24 months in custody.
His lawyer Steven Seiden argued it would be a danger for Nakoula to be in custody in the Los Angeles County jail because of the large Muslim population there. Asst. U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale said: “I’ve been assured that he’d be protected in custody. It’s likely he’d be safer in custody than out of custody.”
There was little mention of Nakoula’s crude film trailer whose posting on YouTube has sparked rioting, violence, and deaths in 30 countries in the Mideast, Europe, and Asia since 9/11. The prosecutor remarked that Nakoula’s pattern of deception extended to the hiring of the film’s actors. “They had no idea who he really was and no idea that he was a felon, and he parlayed … 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, in the past day. In a statement provided to Deadline, YouTube 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. However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt we have temporarily restricted access in both countries. Our hearts are with the families of the people murdered in yesterday’s attack in Libya.”
Reuters also reported that all of YouTube had been banned by Afghanistan today in an effort to impede viewing of the video. “We have been told to shut down YouTube to the Afghan public until the video is taken down,” Aimal Marjan, general director of Information Technology at the Ministry of Communications, told Reuters.
Related: Maker Of Anti-Islam ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ In Hiding After Film Sparks Deadly Violence
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 »