A California law requiring the Internet Movie Database to remove the birthdates of actors and other Hollywood workers from its website is now on hold after a federal judge in San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction.
But government officials might want to rethink its strategy as the case against Assembly Bill 1687 moves forward – Judge Vince Chhabria has made his position quite clear on where he stands on this issue, and it’s not on the side of the state.
“It’s difficult to imagine how AB 1687 could not violate the First Amendment. The statute prevents IMDb from publishing factual information (information about the ages of people in the entertainment industry) on its website for public consumption. This is a restriction of non-commercial speech on the basis of content.
“Therefore, the burden is on the government to show that the restriction is ‘actually necessary’ to serve a compelling government interest.”
California passed the law last year, which went into effect in January. It restricted IMDb from sharing the birthdates of those who work in the television and film industry in an effort to combat rampant age discrimination in Hollywood. IMDb sued the state claiming the law violated its First Amendment rights, censoring what it called to be factual information like when someone was born.