Google Ends ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Court Battle


     LOS ANGELES (CN) – The legal fight between Google and an actress who sued over her brief appearance in the movie trailer “Innocence of Muslims” is over.
     On Monday, U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed the action after Cindy Garcia, filmmaker Nakoula Basseley and Google filed a joint stipulation stating that all the parties had agreed to drop the case.
     “Based on the parties’ stipulation for dismissal of action, the court hereby dismisses this action with prejudice, with each party to bear its own fees and costs,” Fitzgerald wrote in a one-page order.
     In 2012, a 14-minute trailer of “Innocence of Muslims” was uploaded on to YouTube, leading to protests and violence in the Muslim world.
     Garcia then sued YouTube and its parent Google, claiming that Basseley fooled her into believing she would be appearing in an adventure movie called “Desert Warrior.”
     But in postproduction, the filmmakers dubbed her voice in Arabic to include anti-Islamist dialogue.
     Fitzgerald’s ruling comes after the Ninth Circuit in May reversed an earlier decision in Garcia’s favor by ruling that she cannot claim authorship of her five-second performance in the movie trailer.
     Garcia had previously won an injunction against Google at the appeals court. But with the tech, media and entertainment industries watching closely, the entire bench agreed to reconsider the case.
     “Supersize Me” filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, Netflix, Gawker Media, Facebook and Twitter filed legal briefs in support of Google, concerned that the court’s decision would allow the actress to claim authorship of her performance.
     In the May 18 order, the Ninth Circuit said Fitzgerald did not abuse his discretion in denying Garcia’s takedown request and reversed its panel’s “dubious and unprecedented” ruling.
     Garcia’s attorney Cris Armenta declined to comment. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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