Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
California won’t get documents on Amazon.com Inc.'s IMDb’s age-posting practices in a suit over a law the state says would help curtail age discrimination ( IMDb.com, Inc. v. Becerra , N.D. Cal., No. 3:16-cv-06535, order denying discovery motion 6/27/17 ).
The state government’s requests for information on IMDb’s policies, practices, as well as lobbying efforts against the law “are more than annoying,” Judge Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said June 27. “They’re disturbing,” he said.
The request for documents came after Chhabria barred enforcement of a law that would restrict the ability of websites such as IMDb to post the ages of people in the entertainment industry. Chhabria had said it was difficult to imagine how the law doesn’t violate free speech.
California subsequently sought the information from IMDb to show that the law was necessary to achieve the compelling purpose of combating age discrimination in the industry, the court said. Assembly Bill 1687 took effect Jan. 1 and was backed by the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
“It’s one thing for a legislature to enact a speech restriction without an adequate justification,” the court said in denying California’s request for discovery. “It’s another thing for the government’s lawyers to double down on their client’s constitutional error by imposing irrelevant, burdensome, even harassing discovery obligations on a party that seeks only to vindicate its First Amendment rights in court.”
The California Department of Justice told Bloomberg BNA it is reviewing the order. It is unclear how the court will ultimately rule on the constitutionality of the statute.
David Greene, senior staff attorney and civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation in Washington, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief, told Bloomberg BNA in a June 28 email that the ruling was a “strong rebuke (it’s hard to imagine a stronger judicial rebuke) of the government’s fishing expedition.”
While Chhabria said he expects cross motions for summary judgment, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the state just conceded defeat and sent the Legislature back to the drawing board,” Greene said.
Hueston Hennigan LLP represented IMDb.
To contact the reporter on this story: Joyce E. Cutler in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at email@example.com
The discovery ruling is at http://src.bna.com/qi0.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)