LOS ANGELES - A U.S. judge Thursday refused to order YouTube to take down the anti-Islam film trailer that led to sometimes deadly protests across the Muslim world, rejecting a plea from an actress who says she was tricked into appearing in the project.
The Los Angeles County Superior Court judge turned down Cindy Lee Garcia's request in part because the man behind it was not served with a copy of the lawsuit. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has gone into hiding since the clip drew worldwide attention last week
Also, Garcia wasn't able to produce any agreement she had with filmmakers, Lavin said.
The judge also cited a federal law that protects third parties from liability for content they handle.
The ruling means the 14-minute trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" can continue to be viewed online in much of the world.
YouTube, which is owned by Internet search giant Google, has blocked users in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt from viewing the clip. It also has blocked the video from being viewed in Indonesia and India because it violates laws in those countries.
The clip has led to protests that have killed at least 30 people in seven countries, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
YouTube has refused Garcia's requests to remove the film. Her lawsuit contends that keeping it online violates her right of publicity and that post-filming changes in the dialogue cast her in a false light.
Garcia said the script she saw referenced neither Muslims nor the Prophet Muhammad. She said she was shocked when she saw the end result and that her voice had been dubbed.
"I think we need to take it (the film) off because it will continue to cause more problems," she said. "I think it's demoralizing, degrading."
Timothy Alger, the lawyer representing Google at Thursday's hearing, said the company shouldn't be responsible for what transpired between Garcia and the filmmakers. He noted that while the clip has stirred violence, U.S. law doesn't mandate the trailer be removed from YouTube.
"No matter how you view the content ... it is something of widespread debate," Alger said.
Garcia has said she and her family have been threatened and her career has been damaged since the clip surfaced online.
"My whole life has been turned upside down in every aspect," Garcia said before heading into court Thursday.
Her lawyer, Cris Armenta, argued in court that Garcia was clearly defrauded by the people behind the film.
"She did not sign on to be a bigot," Armenta said.
On Wednesday, Garcia filed a lawsuit for fraud and slander against Nakoula.
AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this story.