SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A US appeals court will reconsider whether Google Inc must remove from its YouTube video sharing service an anti-Islamic film that sparked protests across the Muslim world.
Earlier this year a three-judge panel on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco sided with a woman who appeared in the film and ordered Google to take it down. An 11-judge panel will now rehear the YouTube case, the court said on Wednesday.
The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, objected to the film after learning it incor-porated a clip she had made for a different movie.
On Wednesday, Garcia’s attorney Cris Armenta said her legal team will continue to advance Garcia’s copyright interests and “her right to be free from death threats”. In a statement, Google said it is pleased the court agreed to re-examine the case because it strongly disagreed with the initial decision.
By a 2-1 vote, a 9th Circuit panel rejected Google’s assertion that the removal of the film “Innocence of Muslims” amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the US Constitution.
The decision raised questions on whether actors may, in certain circumstances, have an independent copyright on their individual per-formances. Several organisations, including Twitter, Netflix and the ACLU, filed court papers opposing that idea and urging the court to rehear the case.