Video Game Industry Awarded Legal Fees For Unconstitutional Louisiana Law
Washington, DC – The United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana recently ordered the State of Louisiana to pay $91,000 in attorneys’ fees related to defending an unconstitutional video game law, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today. This latest award brings the total of monies due to the industry for attorneys’ fees from states and municipalities that tried to regulate the video game industry to over $1.71 million.
“This Court is dumbfounded that the Attorney General and the State are in the position of having to pay taxpayer money as attorney’s fees and costs in this lawsuit,” wrote the Honorable James J. Brady of the Middle District of Louisiana in his ruling on the plaintiffs’ motion for attorney’s fees and costs. “The Court wonders why nobody objected to the enactment of this statute. In this court’s view, the taxpayers deserve more from their elected officials.”
This is the ninth ruling in seven years that has struck down or enjoined laws seeking to ban video game sales to minors. The Louisiana law was: signed by the Governor in June, 2006; preliminarily enjoined in August, 2006; and, permanently enjoyed in November, 2006. The unconstitutional law would have subjected vendors to fines between $100 and $2,000 and up to one year in prison if caught selling video games containing “violent” content to minors. The ESA said it is stands ready and is eager to work with legislators, stakeholders, and parents’ groups to help ensure that the video games children enjoy are parent-approved.
“It’s unfortunate the some officials continue to believe that unconstitutional laws are the answer, when time and time again courts have thrown out these bills and proven them to be a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. It couldn’t be clearer that the real answer is not regulation, but education of parents to empower them to use the video game rating system, parental controls in game consoles, and other available tools,” said Gail Markels, senior vice president and general counsel of the ESA, the trade group that represents computer and video game publishers. “We look forward to working with any elected official to help educate parents about making appropriate video games choices for their unique families.”
The ESA is the association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $7 billion in entertainment software sales in the in 2006, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software. For more information about the ESA, please visit www.theESA.com.
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