An Israeli filmmaker based in California went into hiding Tuesday after his movie attacking Islam's religious character Muhammad sparked angry assaults by extremist Muslims on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya, where one American was killed.
Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location, writer and director Sam Bacile remained defiant, saying Islam is a cancer and that he intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion.
Protesters angered over Bacile's film opened fire on and burned down the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, killing an American diplomat. In Egypt, protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and replaced an
American flag with an Islamic banner.
The two-hour movie, Innocence of Muslims, cost $5 million to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors, said Bacile, who wrote and directed it.
The film claims Muhammad was a fraud. An English-language 13-minute trailer on YouTube shows an amateur cast performing a dialogue of insults in the form of revelations about Muhammad.
The full film has been shown once, to a mostly empty theater in Hollywood earlier this year, said Bacile.
YouTube, the video website owned by Google Inc, will not remove the film clip that has caused murderous anti-U.S. protests in Egypt and Libya, but it has blocked access to it in those countries.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats were killed by gunmen in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday.
The U.S. ambassador and three staff members were killed when gunmen fired rockets at them, an official in Benghazi told Reuters.
In a brief statement on Wednesday, Google officials rejected the notion of removing the video on grounds it did not violate YouTube's policies, but restricted viewers in Egypt and Libya from loading it due to the special circumstances in the
country. Google said:
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.
The Afghan government on Wednesday banned YouTube from the country to prevent people from watching the anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims.
Following instructions by the ministry of information and culture, the ministry of communication has ordered all service providers to block YouTube access, communications ministry official Aimal Marjan told AFP. He said the block had been
ordered until YouTube removes this abusive film .
The Afghan presidency earlier condemned the film as inhuman and insulting, calling for it not to be broadcast.
Emergency plans are in place to evacuate UK diplomats and their families following a second day of violence in the Middle East.
Protests over an anti-Islam film saw the US embassy in Yemen stormed by a mob numbering in the thousands.
The unrest has spread to Yemen, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco and Tunisia.
In Tehran, groups chanting anti-US and anti-Israel slogans staged a protest outside the Swiss embassy which represents US interests in Iran.
And in Iraq, demonstrations spread from Baghdad to the second city of Basra with the leader of one Islamist militia warning the film will put all American interests in danger .
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has called for nationwide protests today to denounce the film. Up to 70 were injured in a third day of protests yesterday at the US embassy in Cairo with some demonstrators demanding the ambassador's expulsion.
US Administration officials have asked YouTube to review a controversial video that many blame for spurring a wave of anti-American violence in the Middle East.
The administration flagged the 14-minute Innocence of Muslims video and asked that YouTube evaluate it to determine whether it violates the site's terms of service, officials said Thursday. The video, which has been viewed by nearly 1.7
million users, depicts Muhammad as a child molester, womanizer and murderer -- and has been decried as blasphemous and Islamophobic.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sharpened her criticism of the film that led to the protests. She called the film disgusting and reprehensible -- but said that the U.S. would never stop Americans from expressing their views, and
that the movie is no excuse for violence, according to reports from the Associated Press.
YouTube declined comment on the administration request.
As a wave of anti-American riots erupts across the Islamic world, Muslims' U.S. flag burning protests spread to Britain.
Elsewhere British diplomats were in fear for their lives, with staff at the embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, locking themselves in as 5,000 angry demonstrators raged and lit fires in an attack on the German embassy next door.
In London, 150 protesters marched on the US embassy chanting burn burn USA as the American flag went up in flames, soon joined by the Israeli flag.
In violence elsewhere, the number of dead and wounded grew. In the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli police began shooting, killing one man, after a mob set fire to a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise and an American restaurant. Another 25 were
wounded in the chaos.
In Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, 2,000 protesters set off for the US embassy, only to be stopped short by national security forces firing live rounds, killing one man and leaving 15 injured.
In the Tunisian capital Tunis, several thousand demonstrators threw stones at the US embassy and set fire to cars, before being fought off with tear gas and gunfire. Three were reportedly killed.
In Damascus, Syria, a 200-strong crowd demonstrated outside the US embassy -- although it was abandoned in February because of the country's bloody civil war.
Several Christian leaders are being held in protective custody in Niger after demonstrators angry at an anti-Islam film ransacked a major Catholic church, a local journalist said.
Hundreds of protesters stormed the cathedral in Niger's second city of Zinder after Friday prayers, and set fire to US and British flags, a local priest and the journalist told AFP:
After Friday prayers, hundreds of protesters broke down the door of the church and totally trashed it, before setting fire to all the documents and breaking a statue of the Virgin Mary.
The Islamic Council of Niger, the highest religious body in the mainly Muslim country, condemned the US-made film that has triggered protests across the Arab and Muslim world, but also appealed for churches to be spared.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has reportedly ordered the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block YouTube after the video-sharing website failed to remove a controversial anti-Islam film, The Innocence of
Muslims. Blasphemous content will not be accepted at any cost, Prime Minister Ashraf is reported to have said. Earlier today officials said over 700 links to the film on YouTube were blocked following orders issued by the Supreme Court.
Google lists eight reasons on its YouTube Community Guidelines page for why it might take down a video. Being cited as the cause of riots is not among them. But after the White House warned that a crude anti-Muslim movie trailer had
sparked murderous violence in the Middle East, Google acted.
Access to a 14-minute clip from The Innocence of Muslims was blocked in Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia and Afghanistan.
Legal experts and civil libertarians, meanwhile, said the controversy highlighted how Internet companies, most based in the United States, have become global arbiters of free speech, weighing complex issues that traditionally are the province of
courts, judges, and occasionally, international treaty.
Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor said:
Notice that Google has more power over this than either the Egyptian or the U.S. government. Most free speech today has nothing to do with governments and everything to do with companies.
The friends of freedom should not make exceptions because freedom's enemies never do. Admittedly, the trailer for Innocence of Muslims (one of its many titles) makes the temptation to allow just one exception close to overwhelming. It
advertises an amateur and adolescent piece of religious propaganda that depicts Muhammad as a violent and lascivious fool. Copts probably made it. As there is no great difference between Christian and Islamist extremists, why not intervene in
this clash of fundamentalisms and stop one sect inciting another sect to violence?
Around 10,000 people participated in a Lahore rally against the YouTube video, The Innocence of Muslims.
The rally was addressed by Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, and other influential muslim groups.
Hafiz Saeed ludicrously claimed that the film, Innocence of Muslims , had been produced with the backing of US establishment.
He said the director, the producer and all those involved in the production and release of the movie must be hanged publicly and that:
The US must make a law against blasphemy -- or we will not let the US consulates in Pakistan function.
He said a resolution condemning the movie in the parliament was not enough. Instead, President Asif Ali Zardari must announce jihad against countries like the US that supported attacks on Islam. The Organisation of Islamic Countries Conference
should announce a boycott of US goods.
27-year-old atheist activist, Alber Saber was arrested in Cairo, Egypt after he posted the now infamous 14-minute trailer for the film Innocence of Muslims on the Facebook wall of his group, Egyptians.Atheists.
Neighbors in his mostly Muslim community of el-Marg in eastern Cairo gathered in protest outside Saber's home with many calling for his death. According to his mother, one person shouted, Why are we standing down here? Let's go upstairs and
Alber Saber was arrested after his mother called the police out of fear of the crowd outside their home. Saber was arrested under the rarely used law that prohibits insulting religion. He was allegedly thrown in a crowded jail cell and the
officer allegedly told those in the cell that Saber had insulted the Prophet Muhammad. There are reports that Saber has been attacked in the jail cell and according to one blog, his neck was slashed with a razorblade.
A Facebook page has been created to demand Saber's release. The
Free Alber Saber Facebook page now has 2800 'likes'.
An Iranian religious group has increased a reward offered for the murder of British author Salman Rushdie after managing to blame him for The Innocence of Muslims film.
Rushdie has no links to the film and he dismissed the latest move as idiotic , but Ayatollah Hassan Sanei of the 15 Khordad Foundation said the film would never have been released had Rushdie been killed after the fatwa was declared.
Sanei increased the reward by $500,000 USD, making the total sum $3.3million USD.
Hizbollah warned of very dangerous global repercussions if an anti-Islam film is released in its entirety, as a fatwa was issued against the film's producer who has gone into hiding with his family.
The warning from Hizbollah's Hassan Nasrallah came as the death toll from a week of violence sparked by the movie rose to 19.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into the streets of southern Beirut to denounce the film at Nasrallah's request, and the head of the powerful Shiite Muslim group surprised supporters by making a rare public appearance.
YouTube may become unavailable for Russians over the notorious film Innocence of Muslims posted there.
The Russian Public Prosecutor's Office has recognized the film as extremist and insulting for Muslims. The Public Prosecutor's Office has now registered a claim with a court to forbid the circulation of the film in Russia.
No court decision has been made yet but the Public Prosecutor's Office has already instructed the Public Oversight Commission to take respective steps.
Hopwever the head of the Chair of the Communications Theory of the Journalism Department of Moscow State University Ivan Zasursky believes.
Even if the law allows putting YouTube on the list of sites to be blocked, it is not compulsory to do so. YouTube is a law-abiding company in all countries where it broadcasts. In some Arab countries the film is unavailable. I believe that in
Russia it will be unavailable too.
Cindy Lee Garcia, the American actor who appeared in the controversial anti-Muslim film clip that sparked supposed 'outrage' in worldwide protests last week, has failed in a bid to have it removed from YouTube.
Garcia filed the lawsuit on Wednesday citing death threats against her and her inability to visit her grandchildren. Garcia said she was tricked by Nakoula and that the script she saw mentioned neither Muslims nor Muhammad. She called it demoralising and degrading
. Garcia became involved when she responded to an advert for a historical Arabian Desert adventure film, the document says. The film was later altered with anti-Islamic voiceovers.
A Brazilian judge ordered Google to remove versions of an anti-Islam film from YouTube within 10 days.
The National Union of Islamic Entities, or UNI, sued Google's Brazilian unit to remove all versions of the film, called Innocence of the Muslims , that were posted on YouTube, according to court documents.
Judge Gilson Delgado Miranda said in his decision that Google will be fined 10,000 Brazilian reais ($4,926) per day if it doesn't comply with the order.
The judge acknowledged the complexity of the case. He denied UNI's request that Google prevent the video from being uploaded in future, but encouraged UNI to make him aware of new uploads of the controversial film, saying that Google would then
have to remove them.
It creates a clear conflict between freedom of expression and the need to protect individuals and groups against protests that could induce or incite religious discrimination, the judge said in his decision.
France has banned likely violent street protests against cartoons insulting the religious character of Mohammad that were published by a French satirical magazine this week.
So far imams in mosques have denounced the pictures but have urged their followers to remain calm.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said prefects had orders to prohibit any protest and to crack down if the ban was challenged. There will be strictly no exceptions. Demonstrations will be banned and broken up, he told a news conference in
Mohammed Moussaoui, head of the French Muslim Council, described both the film and the cartoons as acts of aggression but urged French Muslims not to protest in the streets. I repeat the council's call not to protest. Any protest could
be hijacked and counterproductive, he told radio RFI.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there had been anti-French demonstrations in Afghanistan, Egypt and Indonesia, but there were no incidents against French nationals.
The private Summa Telekom firm, which provides Internet access in Russia's mostly Muslim republic of Daghestan in the North Caucasus, has blocked YouTube to prevent access to a controversial film trailer mocking the religious character Muhammad.
Company representatives said on September 22 that the popular video-sharing online resource had been blocked in accordance with a request from law-enforcement officials to prevent viewing the film Innocence Of Muslims.
Russia's prosecutor-general filed a petition last week requesting the movie be qualified as extremist and banned in Russia. Moscow's Tverskoi District Court is scheduled to start hearings on the petition on October 17.
Russia's communications minister is threatening to ban YouTube in the country if the popular Internet site doesn't remove a video mocking Islam.
Although Moscow courts have yet to grant prosecutors' request, critics say banning sites is just another way for the Kremlin to clamp down on the opposition in the country, which is home to roughly 20 million Muslims.
The YouTube video mocking Islam is still up and available for viewing in Russia.
Thousands of Muslims protesters in Nigeria have called for African leaders to censor the anti-Islamic video that has caused protests and riots around the world. The city of Kaduna has been the site of many deadly sectarian clashes between Muslims
and Christians, but the demonstration was peaceful.
Like in many other cities around the world in recent weeks, thousands of protesters in Kaduna Monday called out God is Great! and Praise to the Prophet! Soldiers surrounded the demonstration and the event ended promptly after the
scheduled three hours.
A group of Muslims has urged Philippines' Supreme Court to ban the showing of Innocence of Muslims in the country for mocking the religious character Muhammad.
A petition for temporary restraining order was filed by Bangsamoro Nation, a group which supposedly represents the sentiments of the seven to 10 million Muslims in the Philippines. The petition reads in part:
Muslims cannot allow this kind of insult to their prophet Mohammad and to the Islamic religion in general. Unless the State prohibits the showing of the subject film inimical to the national security, actual or imminent danger of violence shall
After the full merits of this petition has been considered by this Honorable Tribunal the anti-Muslim film...be forever, permanently and perpetually banned for public exhibition in all kinds of media outlet within (the) Philippines, such as
theaters, television and internet with its websites YouTube, Google or any other kind of website.
It added that the government's Information and Communications Technology Office should be directed to ban, prevent and prohibit the continued posting of the film in video-sharing site YouTube, Google or any other website until the Court rules on
the merits of the petition.
Update: Banned in the Philippines...Except on YouTube
The Philippines' Supreme Court has ordered the Movie Television Review and Classification Board to stop the screening and showing of the anti-Islam movie Innocence of Muslims after a group of Filipino Muslims petitioned against it.
The high court ordered the board to stop the showing of the movie on television and in movie houses.
However, the high court's order does not apply to Google and YouTube.
Iran has said it will boycott the 2013 Oscars to protest against the making of Innocence of Muslims.
Despite extensive censorship and the repression of leading film makers, Iranian art cinema has earned international acclaim over the past 20 years. Asghar Farhadi's A Separation won the Oscar for best foreign language film in February, the
first Iranian film to do so.
The Iranian Students' News Agency reported that Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said Iran would boycott the next Academy Awards:
to protest against the making of a film insulting the Prophet and because of the organisers' failure to take an official position (against the film),
He also urged other Islamic countries to boycott the Oscars.
Reza Mirkarimi's dramatic comedy A Cube of Sugar is the sacrificial lamb as it had been chosen as Iran's submission for the 2013 foreign-language Oscar.
A court in Moscow has ruled that the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims, can no longer be shown in Russia.
Tverskoi court's ruling follows a similar local decision taken last week by a court in Grozny, the provincial capital of Russia's Muslim-dominated province of Chechnya.
In Moscow, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said the film was deemed extremist because it could incite ethnic and religious hatred.
The RIA-Novosti news agency quoted mufti Shafig Pshikhachev, head of the Coordination Center of Muslims in the North Caucasus, as saying:
This is a positive step in defense of believers. Unfortunately, we are witnessing such events regularly, so I think the adoption of a law is good. We need a legal method of protecting the faithful and our holy places.
Thousands of Muslims are engaging in a series of protests against Google HQ for what they say is a hateful and offensive anti-Islam video, claiming they now live in an age of mockery .
A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices of Google in London is the first in an attempt to force the company to censor an anti-Islamic film from YouTube
Organiser Masoud Alam said:
Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world. We are looking to ban this film.
This is not freedom of expression, there is a limit for that. This insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.
The group's next action was a march which Alam hoped would be a million strong would take place in Hyde Park in the next few weeks.
Barricades were erected in front of Google's headquarters and a crowd bearing placards with the words We love our prophet more than our lives and Muhammad is the founder of freedom of speech had amassed by lunchtime. One of the
speakers, Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui, told The Daily Telegraph: Terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well. The makers of this film have terrorised 1.6 billion people.
Religion Beyond Criticism: Al-Qaida praises the killings
The leader of al-Qaida has called for holy war against the United States and Israel over an anti-Islamic video which triggered mayhem in the Muslim world.
Ayman al-Zawahiri praised as demonstrators who breached the US embassy in Cairo and the attackers who stormed the US consulate in Benghazi last month in violence linked to the film as honest and zealous .
In an audio message released by al-Qaida's media arm As-Sahab and posted on militant websites on Saturday, al-Zawahiri claimed Washington had allowed the film's production under the pretext of freedom of expression, but this freedom did not
prevent them from torturing Muslim prisoners .
Singapore's government claimed that it was necessary to take a firm stand against the viewing of the Innocence of Muslims film in Singapore as a matter of principle.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean was responding to a question by an MP who wanted to know what are the reasons for the government's pre-emptive measure of requesting Google to block online access in Singapore to the
trailer for the film.
This, especially when Singaporeans of all faiths had responded calmly and there was no disharmony or feelings of ill-will among Singaporeans of different groups.
Teo assured the House that the move was not a censorship of internet content...[BUT]... he explained that the Home Affairs Ministry assessed both the content of the film and its possible impact in determining the request to block the
Teo explained that such decisive actions assure the public that the government will act whenever the line is crossed, and there is no need for affected groups to respond in inappropriate ways.
Teo noted the protests came very close to Singapore, with incidents reported in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.
The California man behind the Innocence of Muslims, the movie that wound up violent thugs in the Middle East, was sentenced to death in absentia in an Egyptian court.
Mark Basseley Youssef was among the seven Egyptian Coptic Christians as was Terry Jones, the Florida-based American pastor associated with burning Korans.
The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and unlikely to ever serve the sentences.
Egypt's official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information, charges that carry the death sentence.
An actress who claimed she was duped into appearing in the anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims , lost her second legal bid to force the video off YouTube.
Denying a request by actress Cindy Lee Garcia for a court order requiring the popular online video site to remove the 13-minute clip, a federal judge found she was unlikely to prevail on her claims of copyright infringement.
Garcia's lawyer, Cris Armenta, told Reuters she planned to appeal the decision.
The lawsuit claimed copyright on Garcia's performance in the video and accuses Google of infringing on that copyright by distributing the video without her approval via YouTube.
But in his ruling the judge questioned the validity of such a claim. He held that even if she could prove a legitimate copyright interest in her film performance, she effectively relinquished her rights to producers of the film. Fitzgerald also
ruled that Garcia failed to show that she would suffer irreparable harm without an injunction.
Seemingly a little late of the mark, but perhaps just in time for possible renewed flak from the next controversial film, The Innocent Prophet from the likes of Terry Jones. Anyway UK parliamentarians have called for a ban on the previous
controversial film, The Innocence of Muslims
EDM 829: Innocence of Muslims Film
That this House notes the anger of Muslim constituents in response to the online video, The Innocence of Muslims;
is offended by the vile, Islamophobic slurs it makes about a faith followed by over two billion people worldwide;
believes that the film constitutes incitement to hatred on the grounds of race and religion;
further believes that the film itself is of appallingly poor quality;
and urges the Government to make provision for its banning.
An Egyptian activist has been sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of defamation of religion , a conviction Amnesty International called an outrageous assault on freedom of expression in Egypt.
The court in Cairo found Alber Saber Ayad guilty of disseminating material on the internet that defamed religions. He is expected to be released on a bail of EGP1,000 (US$160) pending his appeal.
Amnesty International considered him to be a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, and had called for his immediate and unconditional release. Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director
of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme said:
This is an outrageous verdict and sentence for a person whose only 'crime' was to post his opinions online.
This conviction will ruin his life, whether he serves the sentence or not. The court should have thrown the case out on the first day, yet now he's been branded as having insulted religion.
Alber Saber Ayad was arrested at his home in Cairo on 13 September 2012, after angry groups of men surrounded his house and called for his death, accusing him of heresy and atheism and of promoting the film Innocence of Muslims .
A Cairo court has ordered the government to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube for 30 days for carrying an anti-Islam film. Muslims across the world rioted in protest against the film.
Judge Hassouna Tawfiq ordered YouTube blocked for carrying the film, which he described as offensive to Islam.
The ruling, however, can be appealed and, based on precedent, might not be enforced. Similar orders to censor pornographic websites deemed offensive have not been enforced in Egypt because of high costs associated with technical applications but
blocking YouTube might be easier to enforce.
Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid said the decision to ban YouTube stems in large part from a lack of knowledge among judges about how the Internet works:
This verdict shows that judges' understanding of technology is weak. The judges do not realise that one wrong post on a website does not mean you have to block the entire website.
Egypt's telecoms censor says it is not viable for it to follow a court order to block YouTube in the country, and is appealing the ruling.
The order banning YouTube and some other websites for 30 days was issued by a Cairo court after it was brought to its notice that there was a proliferation of links to clips of the controversial Innocence of Muslims video, which is said to
portray the religious character Muhammad in a derogatory manner.
It appears that YouTube's willingness to censor the video in Egypt did not go far enough for the Cairo Administrative Court, said civil rights groups Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The country's Ministry of Information Technology and Communications and the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority decided after a meeting that to block YouTube would technically affect the use of Google search in Egypt with economic
consequences to the country, according to a ministry statement.
The proposed ban on YouTube has also been criticized by the U.S. It's actually not quite clear to us at this moment how and whether that's going to be enforced across Egypt, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: But as
a general matter, you know that we reject censorship as a response to offensive speech.
Based on a copyright claim that is dubious at best, the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals has ordered Google to take offline a video that is the center of public controversy. We can still talk about it, but we can't see what we are talking about.
We're hard-pressed to think of a better example of copyright maximalism trumping free speech.
The case was brought by an actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, who was tricked into performing in a short anti-Islamic film (she was told the film was about something very different) and, as a result, found herself subject to death threats. Garcia then
filed a lawsuit against Google and several others, claiming the video infringed her copyright in her performance (approximately 5 seconds of a 13 minute video). Then she asked the court to require Google to take the video down. The district court
wisely refused, noting that Garcia's copyright interest was unclear at best. Garcia appealed, and today the Ninth Circuit agreed with her, and ordered Google to take down all copies of the video and take reasonable steps to prevent further
The merits of this case are indeed doubtful. Very doubtful. Garcia is claiming a copyright interest in her brief performance, a novel theory and one that doesn't work well here. After all, Garcia herself admits she had no creative control over
the movie, but simply performed the lines given to her. There may be a context where an actor could assert some species of authorship, but this doesn't seem to be one of them. Movie makers of all kinds should be worried indeed.
There are other problems with the legal analysis, but the decision is equally if not more troubling for the signal it sends. Based on nothing more than a tenuous (at best) copyright claim, the court has ordered a service provider to censor a
video that has been the subject of considerable debate and comment, with only the most cursory analysis of the speech harms it will cause. If Garcia had brought a claim under virtually any other theory, we expect the court would have taken more
care. Unfortunately, it seems copyright exceptionalism has won the day.
As expected, Google has quickly filed an emergency motion for a stay on the horrific 9th Circuit ruling that the company needed to take down all copies of the Innocence of Muslims film and block it from being re-uploaded anywhere. Google
has made it clear that it will fight this decision, starting with asking the 9th Circuit for an en banc rehearing (ie a case heard by a large panel of judges).
Appeals courts don't often grant requests for en banc hearings and, as such, often don't grant stays (basically holding off enforcing the order). However, with this case generating so much attention (and condemnation), hopefully enough of the
judges in the 9th Circuit agree that it's worth rethinking Judge Kozinski's order.
Google's motion lays out the basic argument, highlighting that the ruling simply invents new law and ignores precedents that the court is bound by. It also highlights how the ruling seems to get some rather basic issues flat out wrong.
Furthermore, it highlights that there is real harm from the censorship imposed by the ruling, while leaving the video up for a little more time is unlikely to create any additional harm (if it ever created any harm in the first place).
Google has been rebuffed in its effort to restore an anti-Muslim video on YouTube, shot down by a federal appeals court that on Friday rejected arguments that requiring the company to take it down will cause irreparable harm because of its
impact on online free speech.
In a brief order, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals denied a stay of a ruling earlier this week ordering Google to remove the Innocence of Muslims video from YouTube. The appeals court ordered YouTube to comply with the order within 24
hours, although Google lawyers already indicated in court papers they have already taken down the video.
Google argued the video should be restored on YouTube while the company presses an appeal of this week's decision, but the 9th Circuit refused. Google warns the ruling could have damaging free speech implications for the online world and make it
too easy for anyone to get an order removing video content from a website:
Under the (9th Circuit ruling), minor players in everything from Hollywood films to home videos can wrest control of those works from their creators, and service providers like YouTube will lack the ability to determine who has a valid copyright
Google has been denied two emergency stay motions against the decision by a divided three-judge panel. It vowed to continue resisting. We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it, a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
People who search for the video find a black screen with a short message from Google repeating its pledge to fight the decision. If the company fails to persuade the same judges to reverse their ruling its last resort will be the supreme court,
which may choose not to hear the case.
A second actor has sued Google over a movie called Innocence of Muslims that mocked the religious character Mohammad. Segments of the film were released on YouTube and violent protests were initiated in response in the muslim world.
Gaylord Flynn said he has received death threats and fears for his life while Google continues to provide its users with access to the film, according to his lawsuit, filed in a California federal court.
Flynn, who is also suing the film-maker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula , said Google had refused to block access to the movie, even though a ninth US circuit court of appeals panel last February ordered it taken off Google's video-sharing website,
YouTube. In that case, actor Cindy Lee Garcia sued Google for an injunction, claiming she owned the copyright of her performance.
Google argued at the time that an injunction amounted to restricting speech in violation of the US constitution. The company is demanding a rehearing from the full appeals court.
Flynn said the film-maker concealed the true nature of his production. He said he thought he was hired for a movie called Desert Warrior and never consented to be in a religiously oriented film nor in one that propagates hate speech .
Flynn, like Garcia, said he did not sign a release and his own copyright interests remain intact, according to the complaint.
A federal appeals court will reconsider a decision to order YouTube to take down an anti-Muslim film clip. Muslims in the Middle East responded violently resulting in death threats to the actors over claims of blasphemy.
An 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena will hear arguments by Google, which owns YouTube, disputing the court's decision to remove Innocence of Muslims from the popular video sharing service.
Alex Lawrence, a copyright and intellectual property lawyer in New York not connected with the case, said he thinks the court will reverse the earlier ruling because the judges reached a decision to give Garcia some relief on thinly grounded law:
There's a lot of sympathy for Miss Garcia, Lawrence said. She got paid $500 and received death threats. Everyone feels sympathy for her, but using copyright in this way is a real problem for a lot of industries.
A US appeals court has overturned a controversial ruling that required YouTube to take down a video that disparaged Muslims.
One of the actresses in the film sued to take it down and won, but an appeals court has now ruled she didn't have the right to control the film's distribution.
A segment of the film titled Innocence of Muslims was released in 2012. Muslims in the Middle East responded with violent protests and death threats were made to the actors.
The latest court ruling said the order to take the movie down was unwarranted and incorrect and continued:
The appeal teaches a simple lesson -- a weak copyright claim cannot justify censorship in the guise of authorship.
Google, which owns YouTube, argued that allowing someone with a bit part in a movie to suppress the final product could set a dangerous precedent that could give anyone involved in a production the right to stop its release.