Hate-Filled YouTube Film Becoming Major Legal Battle

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 8.26.49 AM

The Innocence of Muslims continues to rear its ugly head in courtrooms. Only now, major players such as the Screen Actors Guild have gotten involved and a ruling could ultimately change Hollywood forever. Pretty big implications from a trailer for a movie that doesn’t exist.

Cindy Lee Garcia answered an ad for a role in a movie called Desert Warrior. Her eventual performance in the film, along with several other actors’ was reshaped and redubbed into an Arabic-language trailer for a xenophobic film that portrayed the Muslim religion’s most holy figure, the Prophet Muhammad in a very unflattering light. Basically, he’s a child molesting fraud in the film — and even though Garcia is only in the trailer for about five seconds, she fears for her life from backlash over the trailer and Google’s insistence that it be allowed to remain online in a free speech capacity.

Garcia has since sued Google over copyright law, claiming she owns her performance. Obviously, if this case ended up in her favor, it would hold HUGE implications for all creative works. Interestingly, a judge found initially in her favor — a result that has put the case now in “Round 2.” Ending up now in the 11th Court of Appeals, the case is being heard before a panel of seven judges with a ruling expected sometime early next year.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 8.27.28 AM

Because it has such big implications for creative works, the case is unlikely to succeed — however regardless of the outcome, it will likely end up being considered for ruling in the California Supreme Court. Ultimately this is a twist Google-owned YouTube didn’t anticipate when it chose to stick to its guns and leave the Nasoula Nasoula-directed piece online. If YouTube wants to be accepted by mainstream Hollywood, it’s picked a rough road to do it.

Share this piece because it’s freaking crazy and gives you a taste of the larger legal ramifications involved in YouTube videos.