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Category: Movies (11-20 of 645)

YouTube ordered to take down anti-Muslim film

A U.S. appeals court ordered YouTube on Wednesday to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violent riots in parts of the Middle East and death threats to the actors.

The decision by a divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reinstated a lawsuit filed against YouTube by an actress who appeared briefly in the 2012 video that led to rioting and deaths because of its negative portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad.

YouTube resisted calls by President Barack Obama and other world leaders to take down the video, arguing that to do so amounted to unwarranted government censorship and would violate the Google-owned company’s free speech protections. Besides, the company argued that the filmmakers and not the actors of Innocence of Muslims owned the copyright and only they could remove it from YouTube.

And typically, that’s the case with the vast majority of clips posted on YouTube — and Hollywood in general — that don’t violate decency laws and policies. But the 9th Circuit said Wednesday that this case was far from typical and that the actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, retained a copyright claim that YouTube must respect. That’s because she believed she was acting in a different production than the one that ultimately appeared online.

“Had Ms. Garcia known the true nature of the propaganda film the producers were planning, she would never had agreed to appear in the movie,” said Cris Armenta, Garcia’s attorney.

Google argues that the actress had no claim to the film because filmmaker Mark Basseley Youssef wrote the dialogue, managed the entire production and dubbed over Garcia’s dialogue during postproduction editing.

Writing for the court, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said the ruling was not a blanket order giving copyright protection to every actor, but that in this case, Garcia’s performance was worthy of copyright protection.

“We need not and do not decide whether every actor has a copyright in his performance within a movie,” the judge wrote. “It suffices for now to hold that, while the matter is fairly debatable, Garcia is likely to prevail.”

Judge N. Randy Smith dissented, arguing that Garcia’s five-second appearance gave her no ownership claims.

“Her brief appearance in the film, even if a valuable contribution to the film, does not make her an author,” Smith wrote. “Indeed, it is difficult to understand how she can be considered an ‘inventive or master mind’ of her performance under these facts.”

Youssef, the filmmaker, was sentenced to 21 months in prison for check fraud in 2010 and barred from accessing the Internet without court approval. He was returned to prison in 2012 for violating terms of his probation and was released on probation in September 2013.

Garcia was paid $500 to appear for five seconds in a film she was told was called Desert Warrior that she thought had nothing to do with religion or radical Islam. When the clip was released, her lines were dubbed to have her character asking Muhammad if he was a child molester.

“This is a troubling case,” Kozinski wrote. “Garcia was duped into providing an artistic performance that was used in a way she never could have foreseen. Her unwitting and unwilling inclusion in Innocence of Muslims led to serious threats against her life. It’s disappointing, though perhaps not surprising, that Garcia needed to sue in order to protect herself and her rights.”

For Google, the ruling represents a nettlesome issue if allowed to stand. The company fears that bit players and extras appearing in popular clips will now be emboldened to send takedown notices to YouTube unless settlements can be reached with the filmmakers.

Google Inc., which has removed the clip, said it will appeal the decision to a special 11-judge panel of the appeals court. The next move after that would be to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

“We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it,” said Google spokeswoman Abbi Tatton.

Maria von Trapp, last surviving member of family immortalized in 'Sound of Music,' dies at 99

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member and second-eldest daughter of the musical family whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for The Sound of Music, has died. She was 99.

Von Trapp died at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, according to her brother Johannes von Trapp.

“She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people,” he said. “There wasn’t a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that.”

Maria von Trapp was the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers made famous in The Sound of Music. She was portrayed as Louisa in the 1959 Broadway musical and a 1965 film, which won the Oscar for best picture.

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Train strikes Allman biopic film crew, woman dead

Authorities in south Georgia say a woman working with a film crew has been struck and killed by a train while making a biopic about musician Gregg Allman.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Detective Joe Gardner tells WSAV-TV it happened after the crew had placed a mattress on a set of railroad tracks in Doctortown while filming the movie Midnight Rider.

Authorities have said several other crew members were injured and details on their injuries weren’t immediately available. Sheriff John Carter told WTOC-TV that two of the crew members sustained serious injuries.

Gardner says the crew was affiliated with a Savannah-based production company. Studio representatives were unavailable for comment Thursday.

Sheriff’s officials haven’t released the woman’s identity, and officials from CSX rail company say they’re working with authorities on the investigation.

'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Absolutely Fabulous' actor Christopher Malcolm dies at age 67

Actor Christopher Malcolm has died at the age of 67. In the early ’70s, the Scottish-born Malcolm originated the part of Brad Majors in the original stage production of The Rocky Horror Show and co-produced a West End revival of the cult musical in 1990. But the actor was probably best known for playing the character of Zev Senesca in Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back and Saffy’s father Justin in the beloved British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous. His other acting credits included 1980’s mercenary action movie The Dogs of War, Warren Beatty-directed Reds (1981), and Highlander and Labyrinth (both released in 1986).

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Emily Blunt and John Krasinski welcome baby, Hazel

Actress Emily Blunt and Office star John Krasinski have welcomed their first baby, a girl named Hazel.

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Woody Allen's lawyer addresses abuse allegations on 'Today' show

Elkan Abramowitz, Woody Allen’s attorney, appeared on the Today show this morning to discuss the now decades-old molestation allegations against Allen. The charges initially made headlines in 1993 when Allen was accused of molesting his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. While Allen was never formally  prosecuted, the charges were brought up again on Feb. 1 when Dylan herself wrote a piece for the New York Times detailing the alleged abuse. READ FULL STORY

Woody Allen responds to Dylan Farrow's abuse claims

After Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, wrote a first-person essay for The New York Times on Saturday detailing the alleged sexual abuse she endured as a 7-year-old, Allen has responded, calling her claims “untrue and disgraceful.”

“Mr. Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful,” a rep for the Oscar-winning director said in a statement. “He will be responding very soon.”

We will update when Allen’s full statement is released.

Allen’s attorney, Elkan Abramowitz, also sent a statement to Mother Jones. “It is tragic that after 20 years a story engineered by a vengeful lover resurfaces after it was fully vetted and rejected by independent authorities. The one to blame for Dylan’s distress is neither Dylan nor Woody Allen.”

Dylan Farrow also called out some of the actors in Allen’s movies in her essay, including Blue Jasmine stars Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett, asking, “What if it had been your daughter?” Blanchett and Baldwin responded over the weekend.
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Indian actress Suchitra Sen dies at 82

Suchitra Sen, a legendary Indian actress known for her memorable roles in both Bengali-language and Hindi Bollywood films, died Friday of heart failure. She was 82.

Sen was hospitalized in Kolkata more than three weeks ago for treatment of a respiratory infection and died following cardiac arrest, said her daughter, Moon Moon Sen, who is also an actress.

She was to be cremated later Friday. READ FULL STORY

British sitcom legend and 'Harry Potter' actor Roger Lloyd-Pack dies at age 69

British character actor Roger Lloyd-Pack has died at the age of 69, according to The Guardian. Lloyd-Pack was much loved in his homeland for playing the dim-witted Trigger in the hugely popular sitcom Only Fools and Horses and the equally slow Owen Newitt in the similarly successful, Richard Curtis-penned show The Vicar of Dibley. But he was an incredibly versatile performer whose big screen credits included Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Interview with the Vampire, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in which he played Barty Crouch Sr. In addition to his TV and film roles, Lloyd-Pack was an accomplished theater actor and recently appeared alongside Mark Rylance in London productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night. According to his agent, Lloyd-Pack was suffering from pancreatic cancer and died at home surrounded by his family.

Actress Carmen Zapata dies after long career

Emmy-nominated actress Carmen Zapata, who started a foundation to promote Hispanic writers because jobs were so scarce, has died of heart problems, colleagues say. She was 86.

Zapata died Sunday at her Van Nuys-area home, said Luis Vela, marketing manager for the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts in Los Angeles.

Zapata started her career in 1945 in the Broadway musical Oklahoma and went on to perform in Bells Are Ringing, Guys and Dolls, and many plays.

“She was an inspiration for me,” Vela said. “She taught me that art is the key to resolving differences in the community.”

He said Zapata was once asked how she wanted to be remembered — as an artist, producer or founder. “‘I prefer people remember us as educators,'” Vela recalled her saying.
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