“Innocence of Muslims” injunction doesn’t apply to copies of the film that exclude plaintiff Cindy Garcia’s performance

March 1, 2014

Wednesday, a Ninth Circuit panel decided that YouTube must remove copies of the “Innocence of Muslims” video, because the video likely infringed the plaintiff-actress’s copyright. But, as I noted, the opinion rests on Garcia’s copyright-protected performance. If the video is reposted with that performance removed, Garcia would have no legal basis for objecting.

The Ninth Circuit has just either corrected or clarified its injunction (depending on how you read the initial scope of the injunction), to make clear that:

This order does not preclude the posting or display of any version of “Innocence of Muslims” that does not include Cindy Lee Garcia’s performance.

UPDATE: Commenter Waldo P. reports that an apparently edited version has already been uploaded to YouTube. Apparently the version had not edited out Garcia’s performance, and has now been taken down. (Thanks to commenter for DEH to note the takedown, which I’ve independently confirmed.) I expect, though, that a version with the performance removed will indeed soon be uploaded.

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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