Video Game Industry Asks Supreme Court to Maintain First Amendment Protections
A brief asking the United States Supreme Court to find unconstitutional a 2005 California law restricting the sale and rental of computer and video games to minors was filed today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
The ESA, the trade association representing computer and video game publishers, said in its brief that the 2005 California statute, which would deny First Amendment protections to video games that California decides are "offensively violent," was plainly unlawful under a long line of Supreme Court precedents. The case before the high court is Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association and Entertainment Software Association. Oral arguments will occur on November 2, 2010.
"The California statute is unnecessary, unwarranted, and unconstitutional. Our industry is already partnering with parents and fulfilling its responsibility by supporting the leading work of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, the most robust entertainment rating system available," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA.
"It would threaten freedom of expression not just for video games, but for all art forms. It would also tie up our courts in endless debates about what constitutes acceptable creative expression in our media. It protects no one and assaults the constitutional rights of artists and storytellers everywhere."
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