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Google Ordered to Take Down "Innocence of Muslims"

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    A California appeals court ordered Google to take down videos of the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims" because of copyright issues.

    The anti-Islamic 14-minute film was reportedly the catalyst for a "fatwa" on the lives of anyone involved in the film, including actress Cindy Lee Garcia who filed the copyright claim, according to GigaOm. In a 2-1 ruling, the court ordered the removal of the video from YouTube and all other platforms Wednesday. It also requires that Google take steps to prevent any new uploads.

    Garcia, who made $500 acting in the film, said that she was tricked by the producer who dubbed "offensive lines" in the Arabic version of the film, namely, "Is your Mohammed a child molester?" Garcia also said that her appearance caused her to receive death threats. She claimed she had a copyright in the film and tried to get Google to take down the videos.

    Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote the majority opinion to say that Garcia has rights and while actors don't usually have a copyright, her role was "not a work for hire." The opinion stated that Garcia was given an "implied license" and the producer's actions went beyond those terms.  
    Google said that that it didn't agree with the ruling. In an emailed statement, a spokesman wrote: 
    Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an actress in the Innocence of Muslims trailer may have a copyright claim over her five-second appearance in the video. As a result the court ordered Google to remove the video from our services. We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it.”
    While Google took potshots at Garcia, we can't blame her for wanting the offending video taken down. Not only is it a bad trailer, but the film's message was changed without her or other actors' knowledge. But is it a copyright issue? I guess we'll see how the next court rules.