In a victory for free speech advocates, a federal appeals court says YouTube should not have been forced to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in favor of Google today. The decision comes after free speech advocates urged the court to overturn a 9th Circuit panel's ruling that ordered YouTube to take down the video.
Actress Cindy Lee Garcia wanted Innocence of Muslims removed from the site after receiving death threats. Her lawyer argued she had a copyright claim to the low-budget film because she believed she was acting in a different production. Google, which owns YouTube, argued Garcia had no claim to the film because the filmmaker wrote the dialogue, managed the production, and dubbed over her lines. It wasn't immediately clear if or when the video would be reposted on YouTube. (Read more Innocence of Muslims stories.)