Why YouTube Owner Google Is ‘Freaking Out’ About a New Court Ruling

Mar 3, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Google “is really freaking out” over a court ruling last week, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq. The ruling Wednesday determined that “Innocence of Muslims” actress Cindy Lee Garcia could assert copyright interest in her performance, potentially allowing her to pull the film from YouTube, the story reports.

On a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reportedly ordered YouTube to remove the video from its website. The controversial video has been described as an anti-Islamic 14-minute movie trailer, which originally appeared on YouTube under the titles "The Real Life of Muhammad" and "Muhammad Movie Trailer."

“The web giant has filed a new emergency motion to stay the disposition pending a rehearing before a larger panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,” THR reports. “In doing so, Google has some bold First Amendment warnings about the implications for allowing an actress with five seconds of screen time to enjoin its distribution of ‘Innocence of Muslims.’”

According to Google, “The panel has adopted a novel interpretation of copyright law that will invite uncertainty and chaos for the entertainment industry, documentary filmmakers, amateur content creators, and for online hosting services like YouTube, allowing bit players in movies, videos, and other media to control how and when creative works are publicly displayed."

Google wrote that it believes the ruling could mean “movie extras could register copyrights in their reaction shots, facial expressions, and mimed chatter. Background singers on a record could register their ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs.’ The list goes on."

Google continues: “Most of the millions of amateur filmmakers who upload their videos and other creative works to YouTube presumably do not have written agreements with those who appear in their videos. That means anyone who appears in those videos — even for five seconds — will now have independent authority to contact YouTube and demand their removal."

cindy lee garcia.jpgCindy Lee Garcia

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