IMDb.com Inc., the creator of the popular online database of movies and industry professionals, has filed suit in federal court challenging the recently enacted California Assembly Bill 1687 that requires the deletion of an individual’s age from its online profile upon request of that person. IMDb contends that the requirement violates free speech and unfairly singles out the company.
The law calls for IMDb and other similar companies that offer a paid service to post their profiles for networking and casting purposes to remove date of birth information within a five days of the person’s request. The bill was introduced by California State Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, who contended that directors and producers often turn to IMDb and other subscription sites to glean information about actors, and the publication of ages can cause some professionals to be denied even the opportunity to audition for roles.
IMDb counters that the information regarding an actor or other professional’s age is readily available through many other sources and the bill threatens websites and even news organizations from publishing a person’s age. Additionally, IMDb offers a “pro” subscription service whereby a professional can control how his/her age is displayed. IMDb further argues that it is the only website impacted by the law.
A spokeswoman said the attorney general’s office is reviewing the complaint.
The case is IMDb.com Inc. v. Kamala Harris, case number 3:16-cv-03565, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.