CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

IMDb to California: You can't stop us publishing actor ages

The 2016 state law violates free-speech protections, according to the Amazon-owned database of people in the entertainment industry.

imdb-birthday-screenshot.jpg

A California law prohibits IMDb from publishing ages on its website.

IMBd/Screenshot by CNET

Entertainment industry website IMDb.com has challenged the constitutionality of a California law that can ban it from publishing the ages of actors and other professionals.

The law, signed in September, requires IMDb to remove birthday and age information from its website if requested by subscribers to IMDbPro, a premium service that shows profiles of professionals in the industry. The law's purpose is "to ensure that information obtained on an Internet Web site regarding an individual's age will not be used in furtherance of employment or age discrimination," according to its text.

IMDb, which said 2,300 people so far have demanded their ages be removed, argued that prejudice, not factual data, should be the target of efforts to stop age discrimination.

"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 Amazon subsidiary said in a Thursday court filing. The law "plainly violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution and cannot be enforced." It also said the law violates commercial law since it affects IMDb operations outside California.

IMDb, which stands for Internet Movie Database, said in a statement it won't remove the age data from its service while the litigation is active.

The California Office of the Attorney General said it's reviewing IMDb's motion.

Updated at 3:33 p.m. PT with information from the attorney general's office.