Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The IMDB Lawsuit

Findlaw's Julie Hilden writes about a plaintiff's lawsuit against the IMDB database folks for failing to credit him as executive producer for the hit film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and two other films. Attorney David Kronemyer also wanted to be credited for the film "Wishcraft", and a tv movie "Stand and Be Counted."  IMDB responded that it uses the information from the actual screen credits for its database, and Kronemyer wasn't listed. The court ruled in IMDB's favor, primarily on free speech grounds. "Here, the listing of credits on respondent’s Web site is informational rather than directed at sales. According to the evidence submitted in support of the motion, it provides a message board and chat room for members of the public as well as listing of credits for 400,000 movies and television shows. The site is visited by 35 million people
each month. We conclude that the credit listings on respondent’s Web site are not commercial speech and are protected by section 425.16. If appellant’s position that the prospect of some financial benefit from a publication places the material in the area of “commercial speech,” it would include virtually all books, magazines, newspapers, and news broadcasts. There is no authority for so sweeping a definition." He also granted IMDB more than $6000 in attorney's fees.

The case is Kronemyer v. Internet Movie Database, CCA (4th Div.) (decided 4/13/07).

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