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A California Appeals Court has ordered the WGA to turn over demographic data to a protesting sect of TV writers who want to use the information to build an age discrimination class action against studios, networks, production companies and talent agencies.
In 2000, a group of TV writers filed a class action lawsuit against many in the TV industry. Since then, the lawsuit has evolved slower than the plot of “Lost.” It stalled in the discovery phase as the plaintiffs demanded access to their union’s data. In response to a subpoena, the WGA sent a privacy notice to its 47,000 members advising them of their right to object to disclosure of personal information on privacy grounds. Some 7,700 members raised objection, which the WGA took as a legal reason why they didn’t have to disclose. A trial court sustained member objections and the plaintiffs appealed.
On Thursday, the 2nd Circuit overturned the trial court and granted the plaintiff-writers access to the requested information. The panel concluded that though “demographic data is personal information, it is barely sensitive information,” and dismissed arguments that the decision would lead to a slippery slope for broader information requests.
To read the decision, click here.
Nikki Finke is also reporting that one of the defendants, ICM, may settle its end of the dispute.
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