The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is fighting a California law which states that websites must respond to individual requests from actors to have their birthdate removed from the website.
The law, which was purportedly implemented to prevent ageism within the film industry, seemed to focus on websites such as IMDs who list the birth dates, age and personal information of many leading Hollywood actors. Under the new law IMDb would be forced to remove information about an actor’s age if personally requested by the actor. IMDb, however, is refusing to do so, challenging the decision in court and claiming that the law is a threat to free speech.
IMDb filed a lawsuit against the state of California in November claiming that the law was a violation of free speech rights, stating that the law was “unfair because it was carefully tailored to apply only to the Delaware-based IMDb.com Inc., and not other sources of information such as media websites.” The company claims that it “shares the worthy goal of preventing age discrimination,” but claims that the law “does not advance, much less achieve, that goal.”
The bill would have come into effect at the start of 2017. Now into the new year, IMDb has made a court filing to request a preliminary injunction to stop the Attorney General of California from enforcing the law.
In a court filing on Thursday, IMDb stated, “Rather than properly passing laws designed to address the root problem of age discrimination, the state of California has chosen instead to chill free speech and to undermine access to factual information of public interest.” The website claims that the law “plainly violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and cannot be enforced.”
Digital Trends reports that IMDB’s motion is currently under review by the California Office of the Attorney General.