Actress Cindy Lee Garcia loses bid for temporary injunction against trailer for controversial "Innocence of Muslims"
Actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who appeared in the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims" and is now suing the filmmaker, has lost a bid to have the inflammatory trailer removed from the internet.
Judge Michael Fitzgerald, of the U.S. District Court in Central California, denied Garcia's request for a preliminary injunction against the trailer on Friday.
Fitzgerald ruled that Garcia — who claims that she was deceived about the nature of the film, and that her character's dialog insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammed was dubbed in after the fact — could not prove that removing the video from the internet would prevent any harm that might come to her.
"The Film was posted for public viewing on YouTube on July 2, 2012 — five months ago," Fitzgerald wrote in his ruling. "Given this five-month delay, Garcia has not demonstrated that the requested preliminary relief would prevent any alleged harm."
Fitzgerald also found that Garcia has established that she is unlikely to prevail on the merits of her case. While Garcia sued claiming that the copyright of her performance has been violated, the judge wrote, "Even assuming both that Garcia's individual performance in the Film is copyrightable and that she has not released this copyright interest, the nature of this copyright interest is not clear. Nor is it clear that Defendants would be liable for infringement."
Garcia is suing the "Innocence of Muslims" filmmaker — who has used various aliases, but was most recently identified in a court hearing as Mark Youssef — as well as YouTube and its parent company, Google.
Garcia's lawyer, Cris Armenta, said that the actress plans to appeal the decision if the actress "is financially able."
“Unfortunately, our client, Ms. Garcia, is a woman of extremely modest means," Armenta told TheWrap in a statement. "Aside from this film turning her life upside down and being subjected to frightening death threats and threats of harm, she does not have the financial resources to continue to wage battle against internet giants. Her entire legal team, of four lawyers in three different states and abroad, stands firmly behind the principles that were put before the court.
Armenta also maintained that film releases purporting to be signed by Garcia, and filed by YouTube and Google earlier this week, have been examined by a forensic document examiner and were found to be "in effect, forgeries."
After an Arabic translation of the "Innocence of Muslims" trailer was released online, a wave of violent protest broke out across the Mideast in September.
Youssef was sentenced earlier this month to a year in prison, after admitting that he had violated the terms of his probation stemming from an earlier bank-fraud conviction. He was also sentenced to death in absentia by an Egyptian court this week.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.