Appeals Court Finally Agrees To Rehear Horrible Ruling Over Actress' Supposed Copyright In 'Innocence Of Muslims'

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

It's been a while since we'd heard anything from the 9th Circuit appeals court concerning Garcia v. Google, the case in which actress Cindy Lee Garcia successfully went after Google for hosting the controversial Innocence of Muslims video on YouTube. Garcia is one of the actresses who claims she was tricked into appearing in the film, leading to death threats. Without doubt, her situation is not a great one to be in, but it doesn't change the basics of copyright law, in which it has long been established that actors do not have a copyright interest in video and film projects they appear in... until Judge Alex Kozinski in the 9th Circuit appeals court suddenly reinterpreted decades of settled copyright law. Back in March, an unnamed judge on the court asked the court to reconsider the case, holding an "en banc" rehearing of the case with a full slate of judges (in most appeals courts en banc would be all judges, but the 9th circuit has so many judges that they limit it to Chief Judge Kozinski and 10 others). Back in April a bunch of folks -- including us at Techdirt -- filed amicus briefs asking the court to rehear.

And then... nothing.

Well, in July Kozinski issued an "amended" ruling which basically doubled down on the original, but added a few footnotes on how Google might be able to escape Kozinski's own bad ruling with some other arguments at the district level.

However, this morning, the court finally announced that it will, in fact, rehear the case en banc, and that the original and amended Kozinski rulings are no longer precedent in the 9th Circuit -- though the current injunction against Google does remain in place. So now we get to go through this process again. It will be some time, but expect a bunch of filings from the parties and amici and eventual oral arguments before a decision. So there's still quite some time until this case is decided -- but, for now, Kozinski's ruling no longer is the "current" word on the matter.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Nov 2014 @ 12:37pm

    ...for now, Kozinski's ruling no longer is the "current" word on the matter.
    That's too bad. Because living in a batshit-crazy world filled with demented judges is just more interesting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Get off my cyber-lawn! (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 12:54pm

    I Approve of the Judge Kozinski ruling!

    Maybe it will give Keanu Reeves a chance to force the world to destroy every copy of every movie he ever made. EVER!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 12 Nov 2014 @ 2:31pm

    Honestly the ruling that came down was a travesty.

    You'd almost swear the Judge was bored and intentionally ruled the way he did just for kicks, knowing full well the controversy that would start and the effect this would not only have on Google but others as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 13 Nov 2014 @ 10:05am

      Re:

      Or he did it for the attention he would get for attaching his name to a precedent-setting case like this.
      It's a little surprising that no other actors have used this as a basis to file their own lawsuits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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