'Innocence Of Muslims' Actress Cindy Lee Garcia Redoubles Efforts In Google Lawsuit
Cindy Lee Garcia, the actress from the anti-Islam film that was released on YouTube and led to violent protests across the Middle East, is serious about her lawsuit against Google and alleged "Innocence of Muslims" producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and she's not about to back down.
Garcia has reportedly had a fatwa placed upon her head for appearing in the film, though, according to her, no one working on the 14-minute "movie" had any knowledge at the time of shooting of an anti-Muslim sentiment, since it was all added through dubbing and editing in post-production of a film that was originally titled "Desert Warriors."
New developments in the case have resulted from an exchange Garcia had with Nakoula in which his attorney indicated that Garcia was "pursuing the wrong person," according to the Hollywood Reporter, and that the right person to sue would be "the one that owns the rights to the film." This sent up a red flag to Garcia and her lawyer, Chris Armenta, who then contacted Timothy Alger, a former deputy general counsel at Google (which owns YouTube).
"I have just been informed by Nakoula's attorney that Nakoula…DOES NOT OWN the rights to the film and will not claim copyright ownership on the rights to the film," Armenta wrote to Alger. "We believe it is YouTube's burden to identify the correct copyright holder, in light of Garcia's allegations that she owns the rights to her dramatic performance."
Garcia re-filed her lawsuit in federal court after her first attempt filing through the California system failed to get the clip removed from YouTube. She also filed a request for a temporary restraining order, claiming that she "never signed a release of any kind to her rights to her dramatic performance," and therefore the filmmakers, producers, or those who own the rights to "Innocence of Muslims" had no right to use her image.
The argument, while still being dismissed by YouTube, brings up potentially hot-button issues about copyrights and the protocol surrounding takedown notices practiced by Google and YouTube, not all of which have been previously determined.
Part of Garcia's case involves a precedent set in a copyright battle between Viacom and YouTube in which YouTube reportedly identified itself as reacting to takedown orders from copyright holders, according to THR. "The fact that YouTube has not followed its internal protocols in this particular situation speaks to YouTube and Google's bad faith, and its clear desire to attempt to generate more views and hits to the infringing content."
No explicit word on if Garcia's timing has to do with the fact that "Innocence of Muslims" is sure to be a hot topic during Monday's third and final presidential debate between Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, which will center around foreign policy issues.
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