IMDb wins case on publishing birth dates of actors

imdb_logoThree years ago I noted with interest a push by both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America to have IMDb remove birth dates of actors.

They believed that by revealing the true age of actors it limited their casting opportunities (despite the fact that Wikipedia and Google still held the same information).

In 2011 one anonymous actress even filed a law suit claiming IMDb took information she provided when signing up for the IMDb Pro subscription service and used it to publish her age on the site.

This week a jury in Seattle has rejected Junie Hoang’s claim that IMDb breached a contract with her by posting her age on the site and refusing to remove it at her request.

According to Variety, Hoang first signed up for IMDb in 2001, but left her age blank. In 2004, she used a friend’s account to submit a 1978 date of birth, even though she was actually born in 1971. In 2007, she decided that she wanted the false birth date to be removed, and repeatedly contacted the database, asking that it be taken off her page. Yet even after she sent them documents, including a fake Texas ID, showing that the birth date was wrong, they did not remove the 1978 date from her profile.

In 2008, she sent IMDb an e-mail asking them to please “go back to your files and see if you have any documentation, verification or identification that my birthdate is in 1978.” After searching through their records, a customer service manager found her real name and used that to find her correct birth date in public records, and published it online.

IMDb.com argued that she had failed to prove that she was harmed by the posting of her true age, noting in a court filing on Wednesday that she “merely speculated” about lost acting income and “at best, Hoang contends that unrelated parties have refused to give her acting opportunities because IMDb exercised its First Amendment right to publish truthful and accurate information.”

In case you were wondering, Hoang’s credits on IMDb include Diagnosis: Dead or Alive, America’s Most Wanted and Operation Repo.

And Corey Monteith will be 31 next month….

9 Comments:

  1. I wouldn’t like my full name and exact DOB being posted on a website without my permission. However, this woman shot herself in the foot by trying to fake info in the first place.

  2. So she put a false age up herself, spent years trying to get them to remove it and when they did and put her true age up she sues. No wonder we’ve never heard of her.

  3. This case reminds me of the time I first laid eyes on Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland & thought immediately I was going to jail… Long story, short: I still walk amongst you a free 28-year-old man.

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