Google Allowed To Post Edited Version Of 'Innocence Of Muslims'

Google may restore a version of “Innocence of Muslims” to YouTube, provided it's been edited to exclude footage of actress Cindy Lee Garcia, a federal appellate court ruled late on Friday.

That order was issued by the same three-judge panel that previously directed Google to remove the entire 14-minute clip. The judges denied Google's motion to be allowed to restore the entire clip pending further appeal.

“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,” the revised order states. “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.”

Garcia alleged that she was duped into appearing in "Innocence of Muslims" after answering a Backstage ad for a film called "Desert Warrior," which she thought was an adventure movie set in ancient Egypt.

When the clip appeared on YouTube in September 2012, it was blamed for sparking a wave of protests in the Mideast. Garcia alleged in court papers that she received death threats after the film was posted to YouTube and lost her job due to security concerns.

After Garcia unsuccessfully asked YouTube to take down the clip, she sued the company for copyright infringement. Two weeks ago, a panel of the 9th Circuit sided with the actress.

That court directed Google to remove the clip on the ground that Garcia was likely to prevail with her copyright infringement claim. The court said that Garcia potentially had a copyright interest in her performance in the movie.

That ruling stunned observers for several reasons, including that it appears to give actors new veto power over online clips they don't like.

Andrew McDiarmid, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Democracy & Technology, said on Friday that the ruling creates a risk that anyone who appears in a clip will be able to persuade service providers to remove material by asserting a copyright infringement claim.
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