Why New Media Should Care About 'Innocence of Muslims'

January 29, 2015

On December 15, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sat en banc to rehear the panel decision in Garcia v. Google — a copyright claim by actress Cindy Lee Garcia regarding her performance in the low-budget anti-Muslim film, “Innocence of Muslims.” Previously, a divided three-judge panel agreed with Garcia that she had a copyright claim separate and apart from the filmmakers’ copyright in the film. The final outcome may have significant consequences for both performers and media companies. The risk is particularly high for new media ventures that may lack the sophisticated legal agreements between actors and producers that have long been a staple of the media industry. Thus, burgeoning media companies and performers waiting for the 9th Circuit’s decision should act now to protect themselves, regardless of the ultimate outcome.

New media contract and copyright lessons from Garcia v. Google, where en banc Ninth Circuit will decide actor’s separate performance rights.


The articles on our website include some of the publications and papers authored by our attorneys, both before and after they joined our firm. The content of these articles should not be taken as legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or official position of Robins Kaplan LLP.


Li Zhu


Andrea Gothing

Seth Northrop

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