Judge Apparently Uncomfortable With 'Innocence Of Muslims' Ruling, Asks Court To Reconsider Stay Denial

from the that's-odd dept

We’ve written a few times about the terrible ruling from Judge Alex Kozinski, the chief judge of the 9th Circuit, finding a bizarre copyright interest by an actress who appeared in 5 seconds of the 13 minute “trailer” for the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” video, thus allowing her to get all copies of the video taken off of Google sites. Google quickly filed for a stay, noting that the ruling was likely to be overturned, and it made no sense to allow for this controversial censorship which likely violated the First Amendment, until such time as the details could be reviewed en banc (by a larger panel of judges). Kozinski almost immediately rejected the request for a stay.

Now, in a move that is quite odd, one of the other judges on the 9th Circuit has apparently asked the court to reconsider the motion for a stay en banc. This is surprising on a few levels. First, it’s quite rare to see such a “sua sponte” request. That is, it’s common for the parties in the lawsuit (i.e., Google) to request an en banc hearing, but it’s not at all common for a judge to step in and make the request for an en banc hearing of his or her own accord. But that’s what’s happened here. It’s important to note that the request for an en banc hearing is only covering the issue of whether or not the court should stay the original order, and not about reviewing the original order (which is likely to happen separately). I assume this is so that things can happen much more quickly with a review of the narrow question of whether or not Google should be forced to keep the content down while the original order is debated.

Either way, the parties have been asked to file briefs on whether or not an en banc panel should explore whether or not their should be a stay on the original order by next Wednesday, so there should be a pretty quick turnaround on this one. Still, the fact that a judge decided to do this suggests that there’s at least one judge in the 9th Circuit who is uncomfortable with Kozinski’s ruling. We already knew that there was strong dissent to his opinion, and it’s possible that the judge requesting this is the one who dissented, but it’s still a somewhat surprising move.

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Comments on “Judge Apparently Uncomfortable With 'Innocence Of Muslims' Ruling, Asks Court To Reconsider Stay Denial”

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Hyth (profile) says:

Probably not Judge Smith

This is a rather large and public middle finger to Kozinski. A disagreement like this is embarrassing to all of the circuit judges. I assume Judge Smith would have warned Kozinski when he dissented to allow Kozinski the opportunity to prevent a sua sponte motion.

Of course, the ruling itself is even more of an embarrassment for Kozinski….

Anonymous Coward says:

A few years back Kozinski was sent to LA to preside over regular criminal case. This is done to refresh each judge once a while. The case turn out to be one of those “obscene material” cases. At the same time a clever lawyer with ax to grind correctly guessed URLs for Kozinski’s personal web storage pics. And then, Kozinski hit the fan.

Lawyer found whole bunch of really weird stuff disparaging women. One even with Kozinski parading with life size manequin of a child attached to his belly, looking like child was performing oral sex on him. I am not making this up!

So, yes, Kozinski does not surprise me at all.

PS: anyone has links to those pics?

Anonymous Coward says:

Compare to Library of Congress' posted rules

Compare to Library of Congress’ posted rules for reproducing prints and photographs:

What About Copying One of P&P’s Images from a Book or Other Published Source?

If you are planning to copy and publish an image from a copyrighted, published source (e.g., a book), you should check with the publisher, since technically it owns the rights to the version appearing in the book–though few publishers realize that or seem to wish to control such copying.

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