(Update: The 9th Circuit has given Google 72 hours to respond to the contempt of court motion)
The actress who won a controversial copyright decision against Google last month has now filed for a contempt of court order, claiming the company is failing to scrub an anti-Islam video from YouTube and other sites.
In an emergency motion filed Tuesday in Los Angeles, actress Cindy Garcia also asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to order Google to post a bond of around $128 million, and claimed Google should “hire an intern to search for Innocence of Muslims” in order to root out the video from its platform.
Garcia’s request come weeks after a well-known judge stunned Hollywood and the legal community by ruling that Garcia had a copyright in her brief performance, which occurred in an obscure 14-minute film that touched off riots in the Middle East when it appeared on YouTube in 2012.
Garcia, who claims the film maker tricked her by dubbing slurs against the prophet Mohammed into the Arabic version of her performance, says she has faced death threats from around the world. She sued Google last year to remove the film, but the judge dismissed the case.
Last month, however, a divided three-judge ruling employed an unusual interpretation of copyright law to side with Garcia, and to order Google to remove all copies of the film from YouTube. Google, which is in the process of an appeal, has vociferously objected to the ruling and portrayed it as attack on free speech.
In Garcia’s request for a contempt order, she complains that Google has “disabled” rather than taken down the YouTube videos and complained about the company’s “snide message” on YouTube that says it disagrees with the removal order.
Garcia’s lawyers also provided URLs where the video can allegedly be found in order to claim that Google is violating the court order to remove Innocence of Muslims from its platform. The listed sites include a Washington Post story (where the linked-to video now appears disabled), and links for Yahoo and European torrent sites; you can see some of the URLs in this screenshot from the court paper:
Legal scholars and free speech advocates are uncomfortable with the Garcia decision because it appears to legitimize copyright as a tool for censorship. It also comes at time when Germany and France have ordered Google to delete all search results that lead an embarrassing video of a famous racing executive.
The motion also calls for Google to post a bond of $150,000 for each of the 852 alleged links and YouTube videos that Garcia has identified. You can read the motion, via ShadesofGrayLaw, for yourself here:
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Image courtesy of Thinkstock user yuriz