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Kronemyer v. Internet Movie Database, Inc.

150 Cal. App. 4th 941, 59 Cal. Rptr. 3d 48 (2007)

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Kronemyer v. Internet Movie Database, Inc.

California Court of Appeal

150 Cal. App. 4th 941, 59 Cal. Rptr. 3d 48 (2007)

Facts

David Kronemyer (plaintiff) was a producer who alleged he worked on the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Wishcraft, as well as the television series Stand and Be Counted. Internet Movie Database, Inc. (IMDb) (defendant) was a website that contained a database of information on film, television, actors, and other industry professionals. The site was visited by approximately 35 million monthly viewers. IMDb’s filmography section allowed users to access the film credits of industry professionals. The credits posted in this section were mostly based on the credits as they appeared on screen in any given film or television show. IMDb reserved the right to reject or delete information for any reason and provided an update function through which industry professionals could submit proof of their on-screen credits. Kronemyer submitted an update request to receive credit as an executive producer on My Big Fat Greek Wedding. An employee of IMDb reviewed the request by watching the actual screen credits for the film and found that Kronemyer was not listed as an executive producer. As a result, IMDb did not update the website to credit Kronemyer as an executive producer. Kronemyer filed suit for declaratory relief, asking the trial court to require IMDb to update his filmography section for My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Wishcraft, and Stand and Be Counted. IMDb filed an anti-SLAPP special motion to strike Kronemyer’s complaint pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure 425.16. Under California Code of Civil Procedure 425.16, a cause of action asserted against a person arising from any act of that person in furtherance of the person’s right of free speech in connection with a public issue is protected activity that is subject to a special motion to strike, unless the court determines that the plaintiff established a probability of prevailing on the underlying claim. Kronemyer argued that his complaint did not fall within Section 425.16 because his claims centered around IMDb’s lack of responses to his requests, rather than affirmative speech. The trial court granted IMDb’s motion and awarded attorney fees and costs per the statute. Kronemyer appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Epstein, J.)

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