Media reports reveal that the US court rejected Google’s claim that the removal of the movie “Innocence of Muslims” amounted to a prior restraint of speech that infringed the Constitution of the United States.
In other words, YouTube would have to take down the movie, but Google seems to be going to appeal to the Supremes. The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, demanded the movie taken down after learning that it contained a clip she had made for another movie and where she had been partially dubbed to say, “Is your Mohammed a child molester?”
Her lawyers pointed out that the propaganda movie differs so radically from Garcia’s expectations when the director told her that she was being cast in the innocent adventure movie. The controversial movie depicted the prophet Mohammed as a fool and a sexual deviant. Of course, the film created lots of anti-American unrest among Muslims in many countries a couple years ago.
Many Muslims consider any depiction of the prophet a bit blasphemous, but this movie made it just plain insulting. The rumors were that the film was an Israeli plot to destabilize the Middle East, as life there was just getting too comfortable.
Google had refused to remove the movie from its video streaming service, even despite pressure from the White House and others. However, it blocked the trailer in a range of Muslim countries. The tech giant argued that Cindy Lee Garcia appeared in the movie for 5 seconds only, and she might have legal claims against the moviemakers, but shouldn’t win a lawsuit against Google.
Garcia was the first actress to speak out against the director of the incendiary anti-Islam film that prompted global protests.
Threatened: Cindy Lee Garcia was the first actress to speak out against the film after it caused deadly protests in the Middle East
The grandmother was quick to announce that she and the other actors had no idea that the film’s producer, who they knew at Sam Bacile, wanted to use their acting to create an anti-Muslim movie.
‘I’m getting horrible death threats over the Internet, people saying they’re going to cut me up, chop me up and kill me and my family,’ Garcia said on Tuesday.
Her personal Facebook page, her professional modeling page, and the page of the Flame of Fire Outreach Church where she serves as an ordained minister have all been inundated with threats from individuals angered by the movie.
In one such threat, a man named Ahmad Nazir Bashiri said the actress is lucky that he is nowhere near her because ‘otherwise I would have cut your head no matter what your country or lawmakers would have done to me’, according to The New York Daily News.
Google claimed that the laws permit even the vilest criticisms of governments, political leaders, and religious figures as legitimate exercises in free speech, and it therefore should win the case. In response, Garcia argued that her performance within the movie was independently copyrightable, so she retained an interest in that copyright.
The court has recently agreed that Garcia was likely to prevail on her copyright claim, because after facing serious threats against her life, she also faced irreparable harm absent an injunction.