Google has claimed that an acting performance like Garcia's cannot be copyrighted and that the Copyright Act makes a distinction between a copyrightable work and its performance. It had asked for a stay of the appeals court order, as Google, YouTube, and the public would suffer irreparable harm to their First Amendment and other constitutional freedoms if the company was not immediately granted a stay on the order. The order was not stayed, but only amended.
The company could not be immediately reached for comment on the contempt filing.
Rights groups have also criticized the appeals court decision, particularly its remark that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not protect copyright infringement. As the Supreme Court has observed repeatedly, injunctions that shut down speech are particularly disfavored, the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote in a post after the court ordered Google to take down the video.
Google is also concerned that a precedent may be set by the order so that people appearing in amateur videos without written agreements "will now have independent authority to contact YouTube and demand their removal."