IMDB Seeks Injunction Against Law That Lets Actors Delete Their Ages

A new California law requiring IMDb.com to remove actors' ages at their request took effect on Jan. 1. By the middle of last week, more than 2,300 people -- including 10 Oscar winners -- had already demanded that the site take down their ages.

That's according to court papers submitted Thursday by IMDB executive Giancarlo Cairella. "IMDb faces real and imminent harm," Cairella added.

IMDB submitted Cairella's statements as part of the company's effort to block the new law, AB 1687. In November, the Amazon-owned site said in a federal lawsuit that the measure was unconstitutional. Late last week, the site asked U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco to issue a preliminary injunction banning enforcement.

Lawmakers passed AB 1687 in hopes of combatting age discrimination against actors. The law requires IMDb (and any other providers of “commercial online entertainment employment" services) to remove information about paying subscribers' ages at their request.

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The Screen Actors Guild backed the law, while tech companies and the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation opposed it.

IMDB argues that the law is unconstitutional for several reasons, including that it illegally censors truthful speech.

The law "is not narrowly tailored and necessary to achieve its stated purpose of preventing age discrimination against struggling actors," IMDB argues in its request for an injunction. "The law is unconstitutionally over-inclusive because it requires IMDb to censor the factual age-related information of producers, directors, casting agents, and myriad other entertainment professionals, many of whom face no realistic risk of age discrimination from the publication of their ages on IMDb. The law is also unconstitutionally under-inclusive, because it does nothing to restrict the ready availability of the same factual age information from other public sources."

The company adds that the law isn't needed because people have other remedies for age discrimination.

"Even if it were easier to prevent discrimination by quixotically attempting to scrub the internet of all age-related information (a premise plainly false on its face), that approach is unquestionably not necessary and indeed not even effective," IMDB says.

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