Judge Kozinski Refuses To Even Consider That His Ruling To Censor 'Innocence Of Muslims' On Copyright Grounds May Go Too Far
from the bad-facts,-bad-law dept
What's troubling here, though, is that Kozinski seems completely blind to the fact that his ruling is extremely controversial and involves breaking serious new ground in how to interpret copyright law -- in a manner that appears to be quite different than every other court in history that has raised these issues. While there are some lawyers who seem to think that Kozinski's ruling makes sense, there are tons who disagree, including many of the top copyright experts in the field. Just the fact that this case is generating so much controversy from within the copyright bar should at least indicate that Kozinski's interpretation should be looked at more closely -- and as such, it seems quite reasonable for the 9th Circuit, and Kozinski in particular, to humbly recognize that for the sake of not censoring protected speech, the original order should be stayed until it can be reviewed.
Kozinski, unfortunately, is not exactly known for his humility. And while that sometimes makes him one of the most entertaining judges around, it seems dangerous in this particular case. He seems to have made up his mind that his ruling makes sense and, even if many people disagree with him, he appears to have no time to even think that maybe he misjudged the basic tenets of copyright law. On controversial decisions, it's fairly common for judges to admit that the ruling is likely to be reviewed, and to agree to a stay. It's disappointing that Kozinski seems so sure he's right here that he's unwilling to hold off on enforcing the order in the case until others might have a chance to review his rather novel reading of the law.