LOS ANGELES - A California court has ruled that YouTube must take down within 24 hours an inflammatory anti-Islam film that had provoked outrages and mass protests across the Muslim world, prompting an outcry by Google which vowed to challenge the ruling.
“Ordering YouTube and Google to take down the film was the right thing to do,” Cris Armenta, a lawyer for Cindy Lee Garcia who participated in the movie, was quoted by Reuters on Thursday, February 27.
“The propaganda film differs so radically from anything that Ms. Garcia could have imagined when the director told her that she was being cast in the innocent adventure film.”
US actress Cindy Lee Garcia has filed a copyright lawsuit against Google Inc. over its refusal to remove the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims, from YouTube that she was duped into performing in.
Wednesday’s ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned an earlier ruling by the lower court ruling that maintained Google's copyright to unblock the film at YouTube.
The plaintiff stressed that she was deceived by the film produces who told her that she will be acting in a move titled “Desert Warrior”.
However, Garcia said that she didn't realize that it will be a provocative material against Muslims until it was broadcasted at YouTube.
The Judge argued that Garcia may face “irreparable” harm in case Google insists to keep the movie.
“Garcia's performance was used in a way that she found abhorrent and her appearance in the film subjected her to threats of physical harm and even death,” the Judge wrote in the 37p-age ruling.
“Despite these harms, and despite Garcia's viable copyright claim, Google refused to remove the film from YouTube.”
According to the court ruling, Google was granted 24 hours to pull the inflammatory film and take reasonable precautions to hinder uploading the movie again.
Following the court ruling, Pakistan campaigners urged the government on Thursday, February 27, to unblock YouTube in the country.
“We think that now the government of Pakistan has been left with no excuse to continue blocking access to YouTube,” Shahzad Ahmed from Bytes for All told AFP.
“But the ban on YouTube has got more to do with the government's desires and efforts to impose censorship, content filtering and moral policing and we are fighting against them in court through a constitutional petition.”
Yet, Google appeared far from accepting the ruling, vowing to challenge it the courts as infringing its copyrights and freedom of speech.
“We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it.” Google said in a statement.
“Our laws permit even the vilest criticisms of governments, political leaders, and religious figures as legitimate exercises in free speech.”
Titled “Innocence of Muslims”, the film, produced by an American-Israeli real estate developer, portrays Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a fool, philanderer and a religious fake.
In response, thousands of Muslims took to the streets worldwide to protest the defamatory movie. Dozens were killed in days of protests against the film.
The US ambassador in Libya and three other diplomats were also killed when protestors attacked the US consulate in Benghazi.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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