updated 04:10 pm EST, Sat March 1, 2014
Attempts to keep video up as larger appeal is sought fails
After a ruling on February 26 in which the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision and ordered a YouTube video removed, Google's appeal to appear before a larger panel review has been denied. On Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court rejected Google's request to put the video's removal on hold as the case continued.
Google had sought to bring the issue before an 11-judge panel in the same US Court after the 2-1 ruling earlier in the week required Google to remove a trailer for the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims from YouTube. The request for the takedown of the video, which was thought to have violated aspects of the United States Constitution according to Google, was not submitted by Muslim groups over the alleged "blasphemy" of the overall film, but rather by an actor who protested that footage of her was lifted from a different movie and re-dubbed to have her saying offensive lines she didn't actually say.
She argued that her rights had been violated because of the inappropriate use of her image and re-dubbing of words deemed offensive by adherents of the Muslim faith, and that its continued display on YouTube would cause "irreparable harm" by conceding the actor's ownership of the original video she appeared in. The company argued that the video had become part of a public debate and as such shouldn't be removed. According to Reuters, Google has hired Neal Katyal, the former acting US solicitor general, for further advocacy.
The actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, was forced to sue Google to have the video taken down after threats had been made against her life due to the content. In 2012, the video was responsible for violent anti-American protests amongst Muslims due to its inclusion of the Prophet Mohammed, any likeness of which is considered blasphemous in the religion.