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Muhammad cartoonist to sue Dutch anti-Islam filmmaker for copyright infringement

[JURIST] Kurt Westergaard, one of the Danish cartoonists who drew the caricatures [Le Monde slideshow; JURIST news archive] of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked worldwide protests in 2005, plans to sue the author of an anti-Islam film for copyright infringement, Westergaard said Friday. Far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders [personal website, in Dutch] reproduced Westergaard's cartoon in a controversial anti-Islam film titled "Fitna." The film has not yet found a television network to air the video due to high security costs, but Wilders released the video via his website late Thursday evening. It has since been suspended by network administrators following complaints. On Thursday, a lawyer lodged a police complaint against Wilders' film, arguing that it violates the law by linking the Muslim population in the Netherlands to the increasing violence in the country. Australia's ABC News has more. The Dutch News has additional coverage.

Last week, a district court in the Netherlands agreed to hear a lawsuit [JURIST report] filed by the Dutch Islamic Federation seeking to ban the release of Wilders' film because it criticizes the Quran. Dutch officials fear that the film could lead to protests similar to those that took place after the publication of the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons sparked renewed protests [JURIST report] last month when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Poste [media website] reprinted them after Danish police arrested three people [JURIST report] suspected in a plot to murder Westergaard.

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