A victory for the freedom of speech, but it hardly matters now: all jihadists need to do in order to get us to stop saying anything negative about Islam or Muhammad is to threaten to kill us, and everyone folds up, cowers and submits.
“Appeals Court Sides With Google in Anti-Muslim Film Case,” by Sudhin Thanawala and Brian Melley, Associated Press, May 18, 2015:
YouTube should not have been forced to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors, a federal appeals court ruled Monday in a victory for free speech advocates.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal sided with Google, which owns YouTube, after free speech advocates urged the court to overturn a 2-1 decision by three of its judges. The three judges had ordered YouTube to take down the video.
Actress Cindy Lee Garcia wanted “Innocence of Muslims” removed from the site after receiving death threats. Her lawyer argued she had a copyright claim to the low-budget film because she believed she was acting in a different production.
Google argued Garcia had no claim to the film because the filmmaker wrote the dialogue, managed the production and dubbed over her lines.
It wasn’t immediately clear if or when the video would be reposted on YouTube. A Google spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The film inspired rioting by those who considered it blasphemous to the Prophet Muhammad and President Barack Obama and other world leaders asked Google to take it down.
Google, which said those requests amounted to censorship, was joined by an unusual alliance of filmmakers, other Internet companies and prominent news media organizations that didn’t want the court to alter copyright law or infringe on First Amendment rights.
YouTube and other Internet companies were concerned they could be besieged with takedown notices, though it could be hard to contain the film that is still found online.
A lawyer for Google argued in December that if a bit player in a movie has copyright privileges, it could extend to minor characters in blockbusters, shatter copyright law and ultimately restrict free speech because anyone unhappy with their performance could have it removed from the Internet.
“The ultimate effect is to harm the marketplace of speech,” attorney Neal Katyal told the court during a hearing in Pasadena….