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IMDb Files Lawsuit against State of California for Free Speech Suppression
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Summary: IMDb claims that using celebrities ages falls under free speech plus it helps them keep information accurate and with the right person.

The state of California enacted legislation that will allow actors to have their age removed from database sites. IMDb has filed a lawsuit against the new legislation, claiming it goes against First Amendment rights.


The legislation was presented by SAG-AFTRA and authored by Majority Leader Ian Calderon. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1687 on September 24.

Read Comedian Discusses Free Speech During Act.

Calderon said, “Subscribers should have control over whether their age or date of birth are posted on subscription websites used for employment purposes. AB 1687 provides a necessary clarification in the law that will help prevent age-based discrimination for individuals seeking employment in the entertainment industry.”

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SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris said before the law was passed that, “Age discrimination is a major problem in our industry, and it must be addresses. SAG-AFTRA has been working hard for years to stop the career damage caused by the publication of performers’ dates of birth on online subscription websites used for casting like IMDb. We are nor in the final stages of securing the enactment of a California law that would help combat age discrimination by giving performers the right to request the removal of their date of birth when its included on online subscription sites.”

See NY State Bar Association Asks Law Firms to End Age Discrimination.

Attorney John C. Hueston for IMDb said, “IMDb shares the worthy goal of preventing age discrimination. But AB 1687 is an unconstitutional law that does not advance, much less achieve that goal. To the contrary, rather than passing laws designed to address the root problem of age discrimination, the State of California has chosen to chill free speech and undermine public access to factual information.”

Hueston added, “IMDb routinely and gladly updates information on IMDb.com in order to correct verified inaccuracies. But it has always been IMDB’s policy not to alter or delete any accurate, factual information on the public website. Being compelled to do so not only violates basic free speech principles, but undermines the accuracy and reliability of the IMDb.com database on which millions of users rely.”

Do you see any harm in posting celebrities ages? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about the suppression for free speech, read Labor Groups Criticize Wal-Mart Case for Silencing Free Speech.

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org


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