On Point Legal News – 3/20/07:

A Japanese actress is stretching privacy law too far by claiming that the danger of harassment by “aggressive and overzealous fans” makes the Internet Movie Database liable for publishing her real name and date of birth.

Eriko Tamura, who now lives in Los Angeles, sued IMDB this month under the tort of public disclosure of private facts, which is in tension with the First Amendment because it involves the publication of truthful information. The published material must be of a kind that is “highly offensive to a reasonable person” and “not of legitimate concern to the public.”

On its much-trafficked Web site, IMDB has posted an entry for Eriko Sakamoto, Tamura’s real name, and also gives her date of birth in the separate entry for Eriko Tamura. Neither of the entries identifies Sakamoto and Tamura as the same person.

But in her complaint, Tamura alleges those facts are private and she has kept them “completely private” because they could be used by “third parties to track down her residence.” Before moving to L.A. to pursue an acting career, she was a teen-idol pop star in Japan who was compared to Britney Spears.



  1. Don says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but it will probably hinge on how the information was gathered. If the info is public knowledge, and truthful, then I think she is whining for no real gain.

    If they had gotten her unlisted phone number through a phone company insider, then they might be in trouble.

    Don

  2. JoaoPT says:

    HEY! Look at me… Look at me…

    That’s what she’s really sayin’

  3. tallwookie says:

    WHY??!?!

    Cuz she’s like 55, and is truly a lizard from outer space?

  4. SN says:

    1. “I’m not a lawyer, but it will probably hinge on how the information was gathered”

    Think about it. Can anyone’s name really be private? Where is there any right to hide your name? Your name is your identity, thus it is necessarily public.

    And a birth date could be private, if it was never made public. However, even a single birthday card mailed out would be a publication making it public.

  5. KagatoAMV says:

    Are Immigration records public? I’m willing to bet her name would have to be public record if she has moved to the US.

  6. TJGeezer says:

    Sure, but look at the publicity she’s reaping. Japanese teeny bopper star moves to LA…. and promptly gets lost in the human show biz traffic.

    So she sues, and it worked. Now she has her picture on the front page of DU. How much more famous could she possibly want to be?

  7. al says:

    I’d never heard of her until now – the publicity from the lawsuit will surely alert everyone to her real name.

    tonta.

  8. Tom says:

    “Before moving to L.A. to pursue an acting career, she was a teen-idol pop star in Japan who was compared to Britney Spears…”

    Enough said!

    Tom

  9. zoredache says:

    Nothing to see here…

    Obviously she is just a person who either hasn’t heard of the streisand effect, and is making a stupid mistake, or has heard of it, and is trying to use the legal system to make herself more popular.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect

  10. Lauren the Ghoti says:

    I see most of you guys already sussed what’s really going on here…

    I’d guarantee her publicist dreamt up this free-publicity ploy, not her lawyer. Since neither the Hollywood Reporter nor Variety picked up the story, I figure they saw through it, too, but as TJG noted, she landed on DU, so whether those small-time rags took notice is no biggie… :)

  11. gquaglia says:

    Who is this person? I never heard of her. O well, anyone who chooses to live their live in public, has no right to anonymity. Get over yourself you self centered slant eye.

  12. greg allen says:

    I’m not a lawyer but..

    won’t this hinge on whether she’s considered a public figure?

    If I understand correctly, “public figures” give up some of their privacy rights in the eyes of the law.

  13. greg allen says:

    to gguaglia

    “slant eye” ?!?!?

    What? Are you some WWII GI?

    Goodness! Try evolving a little.

  14. chuck says:

    Well, according to imdb she was born on January 16, 1973.
    So she’s 34.
    A bit old to be a teen pop-star.
    But Britney’s getting up there too (no longer a girl, not yet a cougar).

  15. cheese says:

    … ” because they could be used by “third parties to track down her residence.”

    Well, NOW they will.

    Hey, good publicity stunt for someone I’ve never heard of before today.

  16. undissembled says:

    She is nobody.

    Proof is here PROOF

  17. hazzamanazz says:

    Forget the rest, we just want to know one thing: WHEN THE PORN MOVIE OF HER WILL BE RELEASED!!! :D :D :D

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