Judge denies actress's efforts to remove movie

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge on Thursday denied an actress’s effort to compel YouTube to remove the incendiary anti-Muslim video in which she appears.

Cindy Lee Garcia, who appears in “Innocence of Muslims,” which has sparked protests throughout the Middle East, said that she was deceived into working on the movie by its producer, Sam Bacile. Instead of a historical film about the Middle East, the movie was made into a hit piece on the Prophet Mohammed. Garcia sued on Wednesday, citing a variety of claims and charging that the video has put her personal safety at risk.

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin said he could would not grant a temporary restraining order that would require that Google and YouTube remove the video. He found fault with Garcia’s claim, including that it lacked evidence of a contract.

A mystery is what was signed. At a press conference outside the court, Garcia’s attorney, Cris Armenta, said that they “haven’t been able to locate one.” She reiterated that they believe it is irrelevant to the case because they are claiming that Garcia was fraudulently told about the nature of the project.

Timothy L. Alger, appearing on behalf of Google and YouTube, argued that Garcia’s claim was superseded by the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which limits states from extending liability to third parties.

He also said that her privacy and right of publicity claims did not pass muster because she was playing a character. An example, he said, would be Arnold Schwarzenegger claiming that the “Terminator” movies reflected badly on him because he appeared as a cyborg.

But Armenta, who appeared in court with Garcia, said Schwarzenegger “signed on to act as a cyborg. Ms. Garcia did not sign on to be a bigot.”

Bacile, identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has not yet been served with the suit. He was not present at the hearing in downtown Los Angeles.

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