×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Appellate Court Will Rehear ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Case

The inflammatory “Innocence of Muslims” video generated international headlines when it was the source of Muslim protests in 2012, but it also triggered a legal tangle that Google argued threatened the status quo of copyright law.

Now the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to rehear the case, in which actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who had a minor role in the movie, sought an injunction to force YouTube to take down the video. Earlier this year, in a 2-1 decision, a panel of the 9th Circuit sided with her, holding that even though she had a minor role in the movie, she had a copyright interest in her performance.

Google and other tech firms were surprised by the decision, as were industry groups like Film Independent and the Intl. Documentary Assn., who argued that it would make a mess out of rights issues if performers in even small roles could make claims of ownership. Netflix, eBay, Facebook and Twitter were among the firms that lent their names to amicus briefs, contending that it posed “a serious threat” to business if online service providers are required to monitor their services for all possible copyright infringements.

In an order issued on Wednesday, Judge Sidney Thomas wrote that the case will be reheard in an en banc hearing sometime during the week of Dec. 15, which may signal that enough judges disagree with the original appellate opinion. Thomas also wrote that the three-judge panel’s opinion would not have any precedent.

The original appellate ruling was revised in July, acknowledging that the U.S. Copyright Office had turned down Garcia’s effort to register a copyright of her performance.

But the judges on the panel, led by Chief Judge Alex Kosinski, were still troubled  by the fact that Garcia was told that she was performing in a movie called “Desert Warrior,” yet the movie’s writer and producer, Mark Basseley Youssef, instead turned it into “Innocence of Muslims,” with her voice dubbed over so that she appeared to be asking, “Is your Mohammed a child molester?” They also were disturbed that she was receiving death threats after its posting on YouTube.

 

More Biz

  • Streaming Placeholder

    TikTok Owner Preparing Streaming Service to Rival Spotify (Report)

    ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of the TikTok video app, is developing a paid streaming music service aimed at the same emerging markets that Spotify and Apple are seeking to explore, according to a report in Bloomberg. The app could be introduced as early as autumn, according to the report, which adds that the company has [...]

  • Stranger Things

    Coca-Cola Will Revive New Coke in Alliance With Netflix, 'Stranger Things'

    A rush of TV watchers to streaming video has prompted Coca-Cola to test an interesting pour. Coca-Cola will bring New Coke back to market for a brief time, all part of a partnership with Netflix, which has featured Coke in its cult-favorite series “Stranger Things.” The third season of the series, set in 1985, will [...]

  • Doug Davis and Jodie ShihadehVariety Power

    Jodie Shihadeh Named Partner at The Davis Firm

    Jodie Shihadeh has been named Partner at The Davis Firm, PLLC. She joined the firm in 2011 and rose from associate to Managing Attorney and now partner. She graduated from Boston College and received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 2011. While still in law school she interned in the Business [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Nickelodeon Alum Keith Dawkins Sets Kidvid Partnership With Believe Entertainment Group

    Former Nickelodeon executive Keith Dawkins has partnered with Believe Entertainment Group to develop children’s programming. Dawkins will partner with Believe under his newly formed Rock Hill Media Ventures, which aims to advise companies in media, entertainment and sports on working with diverse and emerging talent. Dawkins previously spent 17 years at Viacom, most of which [...]

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    CBS Credit Union Manager Pleads Guilty to $40 Million Fraud

    The manager of a credit union for CBS employees pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court on Monday to a $40 million embezzlement scheme. Edward Rostohar, 62, was arrested in March after the scheme began to unravel. According to prosecutors, he admitted to stealing money from the bank for the last 20 years. Rostohar is [...]

  • Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The

    CAA's Packaging Fee Becomes Flashpoint in 'Walking Dead' Litigation

    UPDATED with new statement and response filing The issue that is at the heart of the WGA’s present standoff with talent agencies has flared up as a source of tension in the litigation between AMC Networks and Frank Darabont and CAA over profit participation on “The Walking Dead.” Attorneys for Darabont and CAA called AMC’s [...]

  • Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’

    Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’ Data, Royalty Payments to Artists

    Sony Music today announced two new payment features for its artists — “Real Time Royalties” and “Cash Out” — through its artist portal beginning this fall. 

A memo sent to artists Monday morning and obtained by Variety says  the initiatives will “allow our artists and royalty participants to view and withdraw earnings faster than ever [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content