[Libs-Or] INFORMATION: Appeals court decision undermines free speech, misinterprets copyright law

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 15 11:50:53 PDT 2014


Appeals court decision undermines free speech, misinterprets copyright law
Posted on April 14, 2014 by Carrie Russell

Last week, the American Library Association (ALA) joined an amicus
brief<https://www.eff.org/document/garcia-v-google-amicus>calling for
reconsideration of a 9th circuit court
decision <https://www.eff.org/document/garcia-v-google-inc-opinion> in *Garcia
v. Google, *case where actress Cindy Sue Garcia sued Google for not
removing a YouTube video in which she appears. Garcia appears for five
seconds in “Innocence of
the radical anti-Islamic video that fueled the attack on the American
embassy in Benghazi. The video was uploaded on YouTube, exposing Garcia to
threats and hate mail. Garcia did not know that her five second performance
would be used in a controversial video.

Garcia turned to the copyright law for redress, arguing that her five
second performance was protected by copyright, and therefore, as a rights
holder she could ask that the video be removed from YouTube. While we
empathize with Garcia’s situation, the copyright law does not protect
performances in film—instead these performances are works-for-hire. This
ruling, if taken to its extreme, would hold that anyone who worked on a
film—from the editor to the gaffer—could claim rights, creating a
copyright<http://copyright.gov/>permissions nightmare.

On appeal, the judge agreed that the copyright argument was weak, but
nonetheless ruled for Garcia. The video currently is not available for
public review. This decision needs to be reheard *en banc*—the copyright
ruling is mistaken, and perhaps more importantly, the copyright law cannot
be used to restrain speech. While the facts of this case are not at all
appealing, we agree that rules of law need to be upheld. Fundamental values
of librarianship—including intellectual freedom, fair use, and preservation
of the cultural record—are in serious conflict with the existing court

Read more on the case <https://www.eff.org/cases/garcia-v-google-inc>.


*Diedre Conkling*

*Lincoln County Library DistrictP.O. Box 2027Newport, OR 97365Phone & Fax:
541-265-3066Work email**:
**diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
*Home email: **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>

 “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change
your attitude.”―Maya Angelou
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