May 21, 2015
Woman Whose Image Appeared in Anti Muslim Film Loses Court Fight To Censor Her Role
Weighing in on a global controversy, a federal appeals court on Monday found that YouTube can't be forced to take down an anti-Muslim video that sparked worldwide protests, finding that such an order tramples on free speech rights.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a previous ruling and backed Google-owned YouTube in its legal battle with Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress who received death threats after she was spliced into a 2012 video called "Innocence of Muslims" that cast her as disparaging the prophet Mohammed.
A special 11-judge panel, with only one judge dissenting, backed Google and other Internet companies that howled in protest when the video was originally ordered removed from the Web a year and a half ago. The panel sympathized with Garcia's plight but stressed that the law is not on her side.
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Garcia later discovered her scene had instead been used in the anti-Muslim video "Innocence of Muslims."
When released, it sparked protests in the Muslim world and was at one point cited in the debate over the fatal attacks on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. As it turned out, Garcia's voice was dubbed over with an insult to Mohammed. She has since been inundated with death threats, forcing her to live underground, according to court papers.
Google, YouTube win First Amendment fight over anti-Muslim video
By Howard Mintz
hmintz (at) mercurynews.com