Actress Says 'Innocence Of Muslims' Censorship Order Doesn't Violate Free Speech

A controversial order requiring Google to censor the video “Innocence of Muslims” doesn't violate the free-speech rights of either Google or users who want to view the clip, actress Cindy Lee Garcia argues in new court papers.

The actress, who is suing Google for copyright infringement, says that she received death threats since the inflammatory clip was posted to YouTube in 2012. Garcia says she was duped into appearing in the movie, which she thought would be an action adventure film. She also says that the director dubbed her dialogue, making it appear as if she uttered “hateful and violence-inducing” statements. She is now asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to let stand a prior order requiring Google to keep the clip off YouTube.

“Garcia and her family have received thousands of threats as the result of the [clip's] exhibition by Google,” she writes. She adds that the injunction against Google reflects a balance between “Google's business interests in copyright infringement” and the “irreparable harm” that the clip is causing her.



A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit recently ruled 2-1 that Garcia potentially has a copyright interest in her 5-second performance in the film. That court granted the actress's request for an order requiring YouTube to take down all clips and prevent the film from being uploaded in the future.

The order has been widely criticized on several fronts. One of the major ones is that the injunction is a “prior restraint” -- that is, an order censoring speech before there's been a trial. Prior restraints on speech are almost always viewed as unconstitutional. Another main ground of criticism is that the court's reasoning appears to give actors new veto power over online clips they don't like.

Google has asked the entire 9th Circuit to reconsider the case, and a host of Web companies (including WordPress, Facebook, IAC/Interactive, Pinterest and Twitter) said in court papers filed last month that they intend to support Google's request.

For her part, Garcia says there's no reason for the 9th Circuit to revisit the panel's “well-reasoned opinion.”

Her latest motion states: “The harm arising out of the infringement is undisputed. After hateful and violence-inducing words were put in her mouth and broadcast worldwide, she received threats of rape and death unless the trailer came down, became the target of an Egyptian fatwa, and was forced to flee her home and church.”

4 comments about "Actress Says 'Innocence Of Muslims' Censorship Order Doesn't Violate Free Speech".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, April 3, 2014 at 7 p.m.

    The framers of the Constitution could not have envisioned this situation. Google and their supporters are essentially demanding that Garcia involuntarily risk her life in return for their own primary gain, masked by their "concern" for their First Amendment rights. While the threats are obviously the result of ignorance, they still exist. Gravity is ignorant, too, but no reasonable person would force someone to stand under a rockslide.

  2. David Carlick from Carlick, April 3, 2014 at 7:59 p.m.

    Legal points aside, this 'thousands of death threats' taken as a whole, casts some doubt in my mind on the statements by many Muslim spokespeople that it is a religion that espouses love and humanity.

  3. Chuck Lantz from, network, April 3, 2014 at 8:38 p.m.

    Muslims kill in the name of their god, as do Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews and Christians. It's difficult to name ANY religion that doesn't have a fringe element who won't twist the words of their particular faith to justify murder. And who can forget the infamous Holy Hand Grenade?

  4. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 4, 2014 at 9:16 p.m.

    The Third Reich was and still is a Christian organization. So is the KKK, White Supremacists and too many others.

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