By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES, Sept 26 (Reuters) - An actress who said she was duped into appearing in an anti-Islam film that stoked violent protests across the Muslim world took her legal bid to federal court on Wednesday in a renewed effort to force it off YouTube.

The lawsuit filed by Cindy Lee Garcia names the popular online video site YouTube and its parent company Google Inc. as defendants, along with the Egyptian-American Coptic Christian from California believed to be behind the making of the film.

Last week, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge denied Garcia's request for a temporary restraining order that would have required YouTube to stop posting the crudely made 13-minute video, finding the actress was unlikely to prevail on the merits of her case in state court.

As in her previous lawsuit, Garcia accused the purported filmmaker of fraud, libel and unfair business practices. But her federal lawsuit also asserts a copyright claim to her performance in the video, titled "The Innocence of Muslims."

Garcia's case was the first known civil litigation stemming from the video, billed as a film trailer, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad as a fool and a sexual deviant. The clip sparked a torrent of anti-American unrest in Egypt, Libya and dozens of other Muslim countries over the past two weeks.

The outbreak of violence coincided with an attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

U.S. and other foreign embassies were also stormed in various cities across the Middle East, Asia and Africa. For many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is considered blasphemous.

Google has refused to remove the film from YouTube, despite pressure from the White House and others to take it down, though the company has blocked the trailer in Egypt, Libya and other Muslim countries.


COPYRIGHT ISSUE

Garcia's lawyer argued in court last week that her client, who is from Bakersfield, California, has suffered harm similar to a person whose privacy is violated by the unauthorized release of a sex tape.

But Google's attorneys said that the rights of an actor do not protect that person from how a film is perceived.

In her latest lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Clara, California, Garcia says that Google is infringing on the copyright she holds to her performance in the film by distributing the video without her approval via YouTube.

Garcia's lawsuit identifies Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Los Angeles-area Coptic man who has served time in federal prison for bank fraud, as the film's producer.

On Saturday, a Pakistani cleric offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who killed the film's maker. Garcia said in her lawsuit that an Egyptian cleric had issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against anyone who served as a director, producer or actor in the video.

According to Garcia, Nakoula operated under the assumed name of Sam Bacile, misleading her and other actors into appearing in a film they believed was an adventure drama called "Desert Warrior."

After the fact, however, she learned that some of her lines spoken in the production had been dubbed over.

The alteration made it look like Garcia "voluntarily performed in a hateful, anti-Islamic production," the lawsuit says, adding that she has "been subjected to credible death threats and is in fear for her life and the life and safety of anyone associated with her."

Nakoula has been in hiding for much of the past two weeks after being questioned by federal authorities looking into whether he may have violated terms of his probation in the making or promotion of the video.

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  • Malaysia

    Malaysian Muslims shout a slogan as they march to the U.S. Embassy during a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. A small peaceful demonstration was held Friday outside the U.S. Embassy in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they hold a banner reads "Innocence of Muslims is the result of secular democracy" during a protest against the anti-Islam film that has sparked anger among followers, outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they hold a banner which reads "Prophet Muhammad is symbol of Islam" during a protest against an anti-Islam film that has sparked anger among followers, outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesian Muslims shout slogans as they hold a banner which reads "Prophet Muhammad is symbol of Islam" during a protest against an anti-Islam film that has sparked anger among followers, outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

  • Egypt

    Egyptian protesters run from the site of clashes with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa)

  • Egypt

    Egyptian protesters clash with security forces, not shown, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Egypt

    Sinai Bedouin protest as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad in the central Sinai oasis of Wadi Feran, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammed Sabry)

  • Egypt

    Egyptian protesters clash with security forces, unseen, near the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Libya

    Libyan followers of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades burn the U.S. flag during a protest in front of the Tibesti Hotel, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Around 150 members of Ansar al-Shariah Brigades chanted " Obama, Obama, we are all Osama." (AP Photo / Mohammad Hannon)

  • Jordan

    Jordanian riot police stand guard during a protest outside the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

  • Jordan

    An Islamist Jordanian protester burn the U.S. flag near the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

  • Jordan

    Islamist Jordanian protesters chant anti-U.S. slogans near the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.(AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

  • Libya

    President Mohammed el-Megarif right, stands for a moment of silence during his visits to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate last Tuesday September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

  • Libya

    Libyan military guards check one of the U.S. Consulate's burnt out buildings during a visit by Libyan President Mohammed el-Megarif, not shown, to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate last Tuesday, September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

  • Libya

    President Mohammed el-Megarif, front row second left, lays a wreath, during his visits to the U.S. Consulate to express sympathy for the death of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the deadly attack on the Consulate last Tuesday September 11, in Benghazi, Libya, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

  • Los Angeles

    Photographers' tripods are set up in front of the suburban Los Angeles home believed to be that of filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

  • Los Angeles

    A religious figure, shoes and a newspaper lie at the steps of the suburban Los Angeles home believed to be that of filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)