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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Actress Fails to Force Google to Drop ‘Innocence of Muslims’ From YouTube

(CN) - The actress who claimed she was tricked into appearing in the movie "Innocence of Muslims" cannot stop Google from showing the film's trailer on YouTube, a federal judge ruled.

The ruling renders unsuccessful Cindy Lee Garcia's attempts in both in state and federal court to bury the film that sparked worldwide protests and at least 28 deaths.

On Sept. 26, Garcia sued Google, YouTube and filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (aka Sam Bacile) in federal court in Los Angeles for libel, fraud and copyright infringement.

Garcia filed the federal action six days after a Los Angeles County judge refused to order the video's removal from Google and YouTube.

Garcia claimed the English version of the movie made her appear to call Mohammed a "child molester," words she said she "never spoke."

The trailer first appeared on YouTube in July, but after the film received worldwide notoriety through an Arabic translation on YouTube, Garcia "received death threats and a bounty was placed on her head through a call by an Egyptian religious figure to 'all Muslim youth in America' to kill her," according to Garcia's federal complaint.

Garcia accused Nakoula of tricking her by saying she would appear in an adventure film called "Desert Warrior," only to have Nakoula dub the movie in Arabic and add "offensive dialogue" which led to outbreaks of violence in 20 countries.

Garcia tried to block the online showing of the film on the grounds that she never signed away the rights to her performance, but U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald found that she could not separate her performance from the overall movie and was unlikely to prevail on her copyright claim.

"Even assuming that both Garcia's individual performance in the film is copyrightable and that she has not released this copyright interest, the nature of this copyright interest is not clear. Nor is it clear that defendants would be liable for infringement," Fitzgerald wrote.

The judge noted that five months had passed between the video's debut and Garcia's request for injunctive relief.

"Given this five-month delay, Garcia has not demonstrated that the requested preliminary relief would prevent any alleged harm," Fitzgerald wrote.

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