Another Actor From 'Innocence Of Muslims' Sues Google Over Copyright Claim… Via Same Lawyer As Cindy Garcia

from the building-a-business,-huh? dept

Nothing much has happened lately in the bizarre legal case of actress Cindy Lee Garcia had against Google. If you don’t recall, Garcia was one of the actresses who appeared in the “short film” called The Innocence of Muslims that became the center of a big story not so long ago for being incredibly insulting to many Muslims. Garcia claimed that she was duped into appearing in the film by its creator Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (who goes under a variety of names, including Sam Bacile). But, more importantly, she claimed that she had a copyright on her appearance, and thus could issue a takedown to make it disappear. Going against pretty much all settled law on the subject, the 9th Circuit Appeals court, lead by Judge Alex Kozinski agreed with her take, upending years of basic copyright law (even the Copyright Office has said she has no copyright claim). After lots of complaints, Kozinski doubled down on his original ruling, but added a couple of “outs” for a district court to fix his ridiculous interpretation (mainly by saying “fair use.”) Either way, Kozinski ordered Google to take down the video (and originally put a very questionable gag order on the company about it).

Garcia’s lawyer, Cris Armenta then accused Google of being in contempt of court by basically misrepresenting everything Google had done. That strategy failed, as the court rejected Armenta’s attempt.

However, it appears Armenta isn’t done with Google yet. She’s found yet another actor from Innocence of Muslims, a guy named Gaylord Flynn, and convinced him to file yet another copyright lawsuit against Google over the film. Notably, the accusation is not about the film being on YouTube (since Google took all those down), but about the fact that doing searches on Google one can find copies of the film via other sites, including various torrent sites and also other video streaming sites like LiveLeak and DailyMotion. The fact that those other sites are not being sued kinda says a lot about what’s happening here.

It appears that Armenta and/or Flynn hired one of the popular takedown request companies out there, DMCA solutions, to demand Google remove all these links from its search results. Google turned down the requests, and voila, Armenta gets to file another lawsuit against Google, based on the same ridiculous interpretation of copyright law that Garcia used, that merely appearing in the film gives one a copyright interest. I get the feeling this won’t be the last such lawsuit either.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Another Actor From 'Innocence Of Muslims' Sues Google Over Copyright Claim… Via Same Lawyer As Cindy Garcia”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Copyright law, a wonderful tool that is very prone to abuse.
When the copyright office says there is no claim that really should count for something, but instead we get bad law setting up what will be an endless parade of people suing Google because Google has the money.

Perhaps this time they will get a Judge who isn’t given to flights of fancy and might defer to the Copyright Office’s expert statement of the standing and put an end to this cottage industry.

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