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ARL Joins Amicus Brief in Garcia v. Google Copyright Case

On Tuesday, November 25, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), along with the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, and other technology and free speech organizations, joined an amicus brief authored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in Garcia v. Google after the Ninth Circuit agreed to rehear the case en banc.

Earlier this year, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled 2-1 in favor of Cindy Lee Garcia, an actor in the film Innocence of Muslims, who asserted a separate copyright interest in her performance after being tricked into appearing in a five-second clip of the film and subsequently sought takedown of the film from YouTube.  While the district court refused to order takedown, the Ninth Circuit reversed, ordering Google, which owns YouTube, to take down — and keep down — the video.

The amicus brief argues that copyright law disfavors Garcia’s claim, that requiring service providers to monitor “blacklisted” content sets a dangerous precedent for online speech, and that finding a separate copyright interest for Garcia’s five second appearance would harm the expectations of content owners and increase the number of orphan works.