Parents Television Council Backs Congressmen’s Video Game Ratings Enforcement Act

Watchdog group the Parents Television Council has issued an "action alert" urging parents to rally behind HR5990, the proposed Video Games Rating Enforcement Act.

The bill, introduced in Congress last month by Reps. Lee Terry (R-NE) and Jim Matheson (D-UT), would require game retailers to check IDs of mature-rated game buyers and would also mandate that information detailing the ESRB rating system be posted in view of customers.

From the PTC alert:

The proposed legislation codifies the video game industry’s own voluntary policies and will ensure better enforcement by requiring all retailers to check IDs from any child trying to buy or rent Mature (M)-rated or Adult-Only (AO) rated games. It does not limit adults’ access to any games they want to buy for themselves or for their children – it merely helps ensure that children can only access age appropriate video games if they are accompanied by an adult.

However, the Entertainment Consumers Association, representing video game consumers, has issued its own alert in opposition to HR5990:

The Video Games Rating Enforcement Act, is another Congressional attempt to unconstitutionally regulate the sale of video games.  If it’s passed, the federal courts will find it unconstitutional – and at great expense to taxpayers. 

 

By raising our voices now, we can let Congress know that we, as taxpayers and constituents, would rather they use their time and our money to discuss more pressing issues such as the war in Iraq, universal healthcare and the national economy.

Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics

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124 comments

  1. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Knowledge of whether a bill is accurate, justifiable, constitutional, blue, fried, or cures acne rarely has anything to do with whether or not a Representative or Senator authors or sponsors it.  The litmus test isn’t truth, it’s, "How many votes will this net me?"  If they can point back at this bill and say, "See, I’m a great Representative!  I worked hard to protect your children from your poor parenting skil…erm…from VIDEO GAMES!  Votes guuud…video games BAAAAD!  Vote for me and I’ll GIT THEM BAAAAD VIDEO GAMES!", then they’ll be all over it.

    You can only be a politician if you’re really good at justifying the lies that you tell yourself.

  2. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    They still whine about the shows the networks air in the summer.

    They probably whined about CBS airing MMA matches May 31st, and they’re whining over the CBS show Swingtown that debuted this past weekend.

  3. 0
    Gray-17 says:

    What about Making the ESRB part of the FFC. Something I had read awhile back at another site.

    Making the ESRB part of the FCC, or FTC would be out and out government censorship. Which is a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment.

  4. 0
    Theoden says:

    "

    HR 5990, which would prohibit sale of certain ESRB rated video games to minors, require posting ESRB ratings on packaging, create fines for non-adherents, among other things. 

    If this bill passes and is signed into law, it would give the ESRB ratings and rating system the force of law, which is unconstitutional.  Courts have repeatedly found that the First Amendment’s guaranteed freedom of expression and Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed right to due process are violated when the government gives a non-governmental entity, such as the ESRB, unfettered governmental authority to decide which items shall be regulated.  Additionally, the bill’s requirement to display and post ratings and information would also violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on compelled speech.
     

    Brett Schenker

    Online Advocacy Manager

    the ECA "

    The ECA

    Brett couldn’t the ECA say this and then give a suggestion of a way to do it legally? ECA is a damn fine group of people and surely we could fine a middle ground. What about Making the ESRB part of the FFC. Something I had read awhile back at another site.

  5. 0
    Brett Schenker says:

    HR 5990, which would prohibit sale of certain ESRB rated video games to minors, require posting ESRB ratings on packaging, create fines for non-adherents, among other things. 

    If this bill passes and is signed into law, it would give the ESRB ratings and rating system the force of law, which is unconstitutional.  Courts have repeatedly found that the First Amendment’s guaranteed freedom of expression and Fourteenth Amendment’s guaranteed right to due process are violated when the government gives a non-governmental entity, such as the ESRB, unfettered governmental authority to decide which items shall be regulated.  Additionally, the bill’s requirement to display and post ratings and information would also violate the First Amendment’s prohibition on compelled speech.
     

    Brett Schenker

    Online Advocacy Manager

    the ECA

    http://www.theeca.com

  6. 0
    Frances says:

    I’m aware that there’s a lot of discussion above what I’m comment, but I don’t really want to read through what is most likely a lot of flaming.

    I would just like to say that this bill only seems to enforce what this site often suggests is the best way to go – self regulation by the parents – and just wants the industry to do its part to help this be the way things work. But instead of seeing the positive light, gamepolitics just seems to want to react negatively to anything that has even a slight whiff of anti-gaming. There is nothing wrong with this bill. I’ve lost a fair bit of respect for the journalism displayed here tonight.

  7. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Mentally retarded children are able to purchase M rated videogames 9 kajillion out of 10 times! These games teach our kids to kill, says Dave Grossam, who is a psychologist guy or something. "These games-they-these games, they desensitize kids to violence and indoctrinate them to commit acts of violence…I mean-I know karate teaches kids to fight too, but-this way-it’s REALLY fun. Oh…I’m glad you only gotta remember all that psychological shit until you pass that test, otherwise I’d be F-U-C-K-E-D!" These games teach our kids to rape babies and burn churches too. Even children admit it! "My parents don’t love me enough to pay attention to me! I’m gonna immitate games to get their love!" SEE? Yeah! We fuckin’ told yall!!! WOOOOT!!

    That’s what they wanna say, right??

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

  8. 0
    Brett Schenker says:

    You can take action through the ECA and write your Congressional Representative through this link, http://action.theeca.com/t/2858/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2163

    We’ve had this action page up since this bill was first announced and the reaction already has been fantastic.  I encourage everyone to write their elected official and help spread the word to their friends.

     

    Brett Schenker

    Online Advocacy Manager

    the ECA

    http://www.theeca.com

  9. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    It’s all those things combined that make me hate it. If it were just one or two of those things I would be merely annoyed, but all of those things combined…shit man, I just find myself offended as hell.

     

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

  10. 0
    TheEdge says:

    For some reason,I thought that was stupid.

    Mainly cause it speaks wonderous amounts that our Congress would focus more on trying to legislate games than trying to fix the public education system,or trying to fix the War in Iraq.Seriously,Congress does an almost worse job at doing their job than Bush.Why do you people vote for these idiots?!

    If you actually do…..that is.

  11. 0
    Anonymous says:

    Must admit, these guys downloading an illegal version of GTA IV, taking illegal screenshots on an illegaly modded Console was another fine, fine example of the ESA leaping into inactivity.

  12. 0
    point09micron says:

    Normal TV seasons are over for the moment.  I’m sure that once the major networks start new programming the PTC will bitch and moan about it like they usually do.

  13. 0
    Adamas Draconis says:

    Gee Grizz, which reason was the one that actually tipped the scales in hate, as opposed to say just it annoys the hell out of you? The  unfairly singleing out videogames, the first amendment, enforcing the private sector, the "crutch", or the slope, please tell me how you  REALLY feel! (Sorry, not enough coffee so i’m a bit goofy.)

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

     

  14. 0
    Christopher G. ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The thing is that so many people will buy into this and support it blindly because they think that movies and other media material is already required by law to prevent children from mature content already.  When I bring this topic up to others, 9 out of 10 times I get the "but they already have laws for going to/buying movies that are rated R."

    Constitutional or not, a lot of people really don’t understand the First Amendment (and a lot of the wrong people do understand it very well) and what a huge change this would be to our rights in this regard.

  15. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Let’s see…unfairly singles out videogames…violates first amendment…enforces private sector…slippery slope…provides a crutch for lazy bitches who can’t seem to take notice of their children…yep, I hate it.

     

    -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

  16. 0
    nightstalker160 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this IF:

    1) Movies are subject to the same restrictions

    2) Television shows are subject to the same restrictions

    3) BOOKS are subject to the same restrictions

    4) [insert media here] are subject to the same restrictions.

    Sorry Representatives and PTC, but if you actually researched basic constitutional law, content based discrimination is unconstitutional.  You cannot regulate one media without regulating ALL media.

    Here’s an idea:

    Go take a basic ConLaw class, then when you’re actually QUALIFIED to make laws, try again.

    What I find disturbing is that there is a 95% chance the Representatives who sponsored this bill are LAWYERS, they should know better.

    I can forgive the PTC for their ignorance but not two lawyers.

  17. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

     Time for me to break down this bill:

    It shall be unlawful for any person to ship or otherwise distribute in interstate commerce, or to sell or rent, a video game that does not contain a rating label, in a clear and conspicuous location on the outside packaging of the video game, containing an age-based content rating determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

     You can no longer sell games from before the ESRB was formed. I am sorry. That you will not be able to get your old Atari, NES, Genesis, SNES etc games. But they are not rated by the ESRB so you will not be able to sell or buy them.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Trade Commission shall promulgate rules requiring all retail establishments engaged in the sale of video games to display, in a clear and conspicuous location, information about the content rating system of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Such rules shall prescribe the information required to be displayed concerning the basic age-based content ratings of such Board.

     We know you already have these signs posted and the ESRB website is so easily accessable, but you will need to require all your customers to wear head gear that has a sign hanging in front of their faces while they shop. We cannot be sure that they see the rating information otherwise.

    It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or rent, or attempt to sell or rent–(1) any video game containing a content rating of `Adults Only’ (as determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board) to any person under the age of 18; or (2) any video game containing a content rating of `Mature’ (as determined by such Board) to any person under the age of 17.

     Seems straight forward doesn’t it? Only the M rating is a suggested age by the ESRB while the AO rating is pretty set in stone by the ESRB. So they are over riding the ESRB’s rules.

    A violation of sections 2 or 3 shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)). The Federal Trade Commission shall enforce this Act in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.

     Basically, it will be considered unfair and deceptive trade practices to not follow these guidelines. They give the FTC authority to police and punish retailers who do not follow these guidelines.

    Notwithstanding section 5(m) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(m)), any person who violates section 2 or 3 of this Act shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation.

     Wow that is a lot. Too bad there are no applicable fines for R rated movies. Anyone know the penalties for selling alcohol and porn to kids?

    E. Zachary Knight
    http://www.editorialgames.com


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  18. 0
    Pierre-Olivier ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Detailed, straight to the point, clear…I love it.

    THIS is what kind of letter we should be sending (instead of rants, which I never agreed to). I certainly hope it’ll works.

    Keep us updated on this (and keep up the good work).

  19. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    If this law is just now being pushed through Congress then it’s about to get hacked up. Laws start simple like this and provisions are added. Games that weren’t rated by the ESRB would have to be either rated by the board, be  banned from sale, or, more likely, have no restrictionns placed upon them, since the law specifically states that only certain ratings are affected. Since games not rated by the ESRB have no ratings, the law cannot ban their sale.

  20. 0
    Anonymous says:

    The real problem here is parents letting kids have access to $50+ dollars at a time.  When I was a kid (in the 1960s and ’70s) I got two dollars a week spending money until I got a job, and when I got a job I had to help pay rent until I left home.  There was little money for videogames.  These days kids have their own credit cards because parents can’t be arsed to honour their parenting commitments.  There would be no reason to have restrictions on videogame sales if parents acted responsibly.

  21. 0
    Benji says:

    It surprises me how many people are pointing out obvious flaws in the way the law is written – I thought they wrote these things in convoluted legalese to make sure the law only does what they want it to. Lawmakers really need to think about the extreme cases to which their laws would be applied to.

    Point being: the law doesn’t appear to make an exception for an adult buying an M-rated game for their child, and it doesn’t make an exception for games made in the 1980’s, before the ESRB was made. On the bright side, it does criminalize the act of selling a copy of the E.T. game for the Atari 2600, something I thought Congress would have gotten around to addressing years ago.

  22. 0
    Tom90deg says:

    Wait wait wait…

    "it merely helps ensure that children can only access age appropriate video games if they are accompanied by an adult."

    Is there a typo here? Cause it seems to me that it’s saying, If i go in with my 16 year old and say, "He wants to buy this M rated game, and I, as his parent say it’s ok." He still can’t buy it. Am I missing something here? It’s saying that even if accompained by an adult, you still can only get "Age Appropriate" games.

  23. 0
    Jack Wessels says:

    You know, while I’m not surprised by these people backing the bill, I still want to say that it’s a complete waste.

    Stores are already supposed to check IDs. People that aren’t now aren’t going to do it later. But still, I’ve never been to any store that didn’t check my ID. Yet, not only did I get into Rambo while it was in theatres unchecked, I also bought it on DVD last night unchecked. I’ve never actually played a game as violent as that movie, so why don’t they check on this stuff?

    Also, the games themselves have reasons for the ratings. Any partially compitent parent can see that the game their child wants is rated M for Mature due to violence, sexual content, drug references, etc.

    This is a complete waste.

  24. 0
    Stinking Kevin says:

    Right on! Also, think of the thousands of games released before 1994. Doesn’t this bill also make it illegal to sell old NES or Genesis games? Collectors and classic gaming enthusiasts get totally screwed by this as well.

  25. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    I’m beginning to wonder you know, maybe someone should write suggesting a bill to outright ban games & see if they say anything then.

  26. 0
    KayleL says:

    They are called the Parents Television Council, so shouldn’t that be more concern about stuff like movies since the are sold to underaged children much more often?

  27. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García says:

    COMBO BREAKER!!!!

    LOL, those people are really inept to even answer you properly about every issue you were replying to them. PTC forums looks worst than 4chan in many levels.

    —————————————————————————- The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/

  28. 0
    Gray-17 says:

    Yeah, sorry about that, I saw that it’d been cleared just after I posted this. Ah well, people are more likely to read this anyways I suppose.

  29. 0
    gs2005 says:

    I write (physical letters) to my congress people on extremely annoying issues.  When I get home tonight, I’ll study this carefully and will write a letter and mail it ASAP.

    The PTC is a bullshit organization and their attempts to censor one form of media must be stopped.

  30. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Nice letter mate, I don’t suppose you can send it to a few newspapers around america as a sort of open letter? Expose the pointless nature of the bill & hopefully open some eyes.

    Also the PTC are being terribly insensitive, it’s not "stripper", it’s "Erotic Industry Personal Interaction Professional"

  31. 0
    PHOENIXZERO says:

    Ever seen a mouse in a maze that keeps getting lost no matter how many times it’s put in? Or the kid who keeps trying to push a square peg through a round hole? That’s the US goverment and "our" politicians.

  32. 0
    Gray-17 says:

    For anyone that’s curious, since the link is stuck in the spam filter, here’s the text of the act:

    Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act (Introduced in House)

    HR 5990 IH

     

    110th CONGRESS

     

    2d Session

    To require ratings label on video games and to prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors.

     

    May 7, 2008

    Mr. MATHESON (for himself and Mr. TERRY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


    To require ratings label on video games and to prohibit the sales and rentals of adult-rated video games to minors.

     

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     

    SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

     

      This Act may be cited as the `Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act’.

     

    SEC. 2. RATING LABEL REQUIREMENT FOR VIDEO GAMES.

     

      (a) Conduct Prohibited- It shall be unlawful for any person to ship or otherwise distribute in interstate commerce, or to sell or rent, a video game that does not contain a rating label, in a clear and conspicuous location on the outside packaging of the video game, containing an age-based content rating determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

     

      (b) Requirement of Retailers To Post Ratings Information- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Trade Commission shall promulgate rules requiring all retail establishments engaged in the sale of video games to display, in a clear and conspicuous location, information about the content rating system of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Such rules shall prescribe the information required to be displayed concerning the basic age-based content ratings of such Board.

     

    SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON SALES AND RENTALS OF ADULT-RATED VIDEO GAMES TO MINORS.

     

      It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or rent, or attempt to sell or rent–

     

        (1) any video game containing a content rating of `Adults Only’ (as determined by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board) to any person under the age of 18; or

       

          (2) any video game containing a content rating of `Mature’ (as determined by such Board) to any person under the age of 17.

         

        SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION.

         

          (a) Unfair or Deceptive Act or Practice- A violation of sections 2 or 3 shall be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)). The Federal Trade Commission shall enforce this Act in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.

         

          (b) Penalty- Notwithstanding section 5(m) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(m)), any person who violates section 2 or 3 of this Act shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 per violation.

         

        A BILL
        IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
        H. R. 5990

      • 0
        Loudspeaker says:

        I haven’t seen anyone bring this up yet, so I’m definitely going to say it…

        WHERE is the ESA in all of this?  I understand this is a consumer issue, but a consumer issue is an industry issue.  When the gov’t starts regulating things how you do your ID checks and what not starts getting a review by big brother over your shoulder.  I doubt any game retailer wants gov’t lackeys running around deciding if they’re doing a proper ID check or not.

        On another point, for those wondering what’s wrong with this proposed law here’s another angle.  This legislation is to stop underage kids from getting their hands on games that are deemed too old for them.  We’ve already seen many posts from people who let us know it’s not the kids who are getting these games it’s the parents.  As soon as this passes and the numbers come out showing that parents buy GTA IV for their 13 year old there will be an instant cry for the law to be changed so a parent doesn’t make the choice for their child, the gov’t does.

        This is a "we know best law".  I, for one, am an American who’s very tired of such laws from my gov’t.  It’s a mentality that needs to stop.

        -Loudspeaker
        "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

      • 0
        Luke J J says:

        I don’t mind people carding to make sure someone is old enough to play a certain game, I just mind it when the government decides to step in and make it mandatory. Parents should be the one to make parental decisions for their children.

      • 0
        PHOENIXZERO says:

        Sad thing is that even if your e-mail doesn’t immediately go to their "junk/we don’t care and won’t even bother replying" folder, they’ll just reply with some comment that shows that they couldn’t care less about what you said.  Aside from the PTC’s social agenda, their other agenda is to make money. As we already have clearly seen from previous stories involving this group.. I can’t believe they still have any clout after all these years and being caught in their lies.

      • 0
        RyRy says:

        It is great to know that lawmakers feel this is a more important issue than a failing economy, weak dollar, rise in unemployment, highly polarized political system, healthcare, taxes, social security, etc etc.

        Now that I got the sarcasm out of the way, I find this sad that they need to actually focus attention on this when there are more important things that need more attention.  

      • 0
        E. Zachary Knight says:

        I sent this throug hthe PTC form:

        I am writing to you from the PTC’s web form to show you why this bill and the PTC are wrong in this matter.

         

        PTC: Will you stand with families to protect children from violent video games?  Today Representatives Jim Matheson and Lee Terry introduced a bipartisan bill that would require retailers to check identification in order to keep adult-rated video games from being sold to children.  I am writing you today to urge you to support this legislation. 

         

        Zachary: Families are already protected. It is called being a parent. Parents have the final say in what media enters their home. There is no need to have the government intervene on parental matters.

         

        PTC:Children are easily able to purchase or rent violent video games.  A 2005 Federal Trade Commission study found that 42 % of unaccompanied 13-16 year-olds were able to purchase “M” (Mature) rated games from retailers, even though the M-rating suggests the game is inappropriate for children under the age of 17. 

         

        Zachary: They are quoting an out of date report. The 2007 report (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/05/secretshop.shtm) states that underage children were able to purchase them only 20% of the time. R rated and unrated Movies on the other hand were able to be purchased nearly 50% of the time. Why are they not calling for legislation on movie ratings enforcement?

         

        PTC: Right now one of the most popular M-rated video games on the market is Grand Theft Auto.  The latest version, which was released just last week, allows players to shoot police officers and innocent bystanders, have sex with prostitutes, and receive lap dances from strippers. 

         

        Zachary: Yes. The most popular M rated game. What they don’t tell you is that the most popular games in general are the likes of the T rated Guitar Hero, T rated Rock Band, E rated Mario Galaxy, E rated Wii Sports. Gee, I wonder why they forgot to mention that information.

         

        PTC: It’s outrageous! Legally, stores can not sell children pornographic magazines or handguns – but they can legally sell video games to children that contain sexual content and teach children how to kill.  In the wake of the horrific school shootings in Paducah, KY, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a West Point psychology professor, Professor of Military Science, and an Army Ranger stated:
        Certain types of these (video) games are actually killing simulators, and they teach our kids to kill in much the same say the astronauts on Apollo 11 learned how to fly to the moon without ever leaving the ground…  All you have to do is see what kids are being scripted to do (on the video games) to get the high scores, and you know that in a very short period of time, their dark fantasies are going to become your tragic realities.”
        This legislation will not prevent adults from buying whatever games they want for themselves or their children – but it will help millions of parents by ensuring their children will not be able to buy games like this without their consent. 

         

        Zachary: Wow, there is a lot to say here. First, it has been ruled constitutional to restrict the sale of obscene material and firearms to underage children. Legislating the sale of video games has been attempted at least 9 times and every time it has been ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL. As for Grossman, his comments are rather ignorant. Video games are about as much of a training simulation as playing Cowboy and Indians when I was growing up. Then there is ther last claim. It may not directly effect adults, but it does cause a slippery slope of legislation. What will stop the government from creating more strict laws regarding content if this one goes through? And again, parents have the final say in what enters their home. Most children will not have the means to get the money to buy games or transport themselves to the store to buy the game by themselves. Someone has to take them there and give them the money.

         

        PTC: Please support this important legislation.  Our families are counting on you.  Our children are counting on you.

         

        Zachary: Don’t supposrt this bill. As a parent, I hate the idea of people claiming that I am so incompetant in my duties as a parent that we need the government to get involved. I have the final say in my home. If my kids were to bring home a game I told them not to get, it will go back to the store and they will lose the money they had to get it. They know the rules of my home.

         

        I am sorry that the PTC’s membership base are incapable of setting rules in their home and enforcing them. I am sorry that they are so incompetant that they need the government’s help. But I am not. I don’t need the government to interfere.

        E. Zachary Knight
        http://www.editorialgames.com

         


        E. Zachary Knight
        Divine Knight Gaming
        Oklahoma Game Development
        Rusty Outlook
        Random Tower
        My Patreon

      • 0
        Dark Sovereign says:

        Why do they keep doing this? It always fails, but still they come back for more. I predict that this will be found unconsitutional because: 1) it regulates free speech and 2) It gives a private organization the force of law.

      • 0
        Anonymous says:

        Minor’s have First Amendment rights and rightly so. The nanny-state shouldn’t be able to decide for children (esspecially older children and teenagers) or adults what media/speech they can or can’t be exposed to.

        If a parent doesn’t want their children to have it then that is fine but it’s their responsibility to make sure their kids don’t get ahold of it just in the same way if they didn’t want their children getting ahold of the Holy Bible or Harry Potter novels.

        I find any attempt to restrict free speech whether it be to those over or under some magical arbitrary age limit dangerous.

      • 0
        Glenn Essex says:

        Section 3 makes it illegal to sell my games to a friend below age, and if I make my own game, I can’t release it without going through the ESRB.  That’s ridiculous.  This bill is horribly written and is a prime example of just how out of touch our congress is.  Hit the ECA link and send the letter to your senators/congressmen.

      • 0
        Overcast says:

        You would think… if a parent doesn’t even know what video games their kid is playing – then other concerns like what they are doing when they are away from the house, will end up leading to the kid’s demise anyway.

      • 0
        Aliasalpha says:

        I suppose the difference in Australia is that the OFLC not only classifies most media (music, tv, movies, games but not books as far as I’m aware) but is also a part of the federal government.

        I’d normally suggest the ESRB should be absorbed into the government so they could be a publically accountable entity with the force of law but then there’s probably a lot of people in the american government who’d want to just ban stuff & corruptly manipulate the organisation, worse yet they’d just appoint jack thompson to head the department…

      • 0
        Brokenscope says:

        The point is, the government in this country CANNOT regulate protected(Free) speech. That is the first and most important RESTRICTION on US governmental power and the children be DAMNED.

         

        The only timethe government can have any say in the matter is when something is ruled obscene, I believe they use the miller test for that. If someone wants a game ruled obscene then they had better be ready to fight it all the way to federal court.

        There are other things it violates, but this one alone should have every news outlet screaming bloody murder.

        rant

        Not to mention I don’t give a flying fuck how other countries do it, if I did, I’d be living in the that country.

        /rant

      • 0
        MechaCrash says:

        There are two problems here. The first is that it singles out video games. There is no similar legislation for books, movies, or any other form of entertainment. The second (and bigger problem) is that this is blatantly unconstitutional. And not in terms of "free speech," it’s because it would give a private orginization (i.e. the ESRB) the force of law, and that is a no-no.

      • 0
        Aliasalpha says:

        Now I am not trying to compare porn to games.

        What about Mass Effect, we ALL know that it’s nothing but hardcore porn from start to stop!

        Well from start to stop of the half second of arsecrack you see in that one scene that’s not really that hardcore…

      • 0
        E. Zachary Knight says:

        I feel the need to add more to this discussion.

        Let’s make a parralel to the porn industry. It was ruled by the Supreme Court that the government has the authority to legislate the sale of pornography to minors. It was also ruled that government has the authority to legislate the sale of pornography in general. So what do you have? You have some states that only allow certain types of pornography to be sold. You have certain counties and cities that don’t allow pornography at all.

        But that is not all. It also opened up the door for states to regulate the production of pornography as well. Some states do not allow the production of pornopraphy within the state.

        Now I am not trying to compare porn to games. What I am getting at is that if any sort of law passes that regulates the sale of games to minors, it is possible to spread that influence to other aspects. This would lead to states not allowing the production of certain games within their borders.

        E. Zachary Knight
        http://www.editorialgames.com

         


        E. Zachary Knight
        Divine Knight Gaming
        Oklahoma Game Development
        Rusty Outlook
        Random Tower
        My Patreon

      • 0
        GRIZZAM PRIME says:

        That would have been for the best most likely. Oh, and no disrespect taken. I kinda hate my aunt…

        -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

      • 0
        Kincyr says:

        you should have said to your aunt "if you don’t want to have to pay attention to your kids, then put them up for adoption."

        岩「…Ace beats Jack」

        edit: I neglected to mention that I don’t mean any disrespect

      • 0
        Damanuhk says:

        Allow me to shed some light on the thought processes of all parties involved in this legislation, as well as the usual end result for those who are new to the game.

        Parent: Little Timmy has learned bad things from this vidjimagame…*bleep* Timmy, I said for you to watch Rambo and tell me what happens! Jeeze…Anyway, I’m far too busy doing other things to pay any kind of real attention to my child, so could you do it for me? Keep these things that I find obscene from my child, as I am clearly unable to do so? Thanks.

        Legislator: Sure! We’ll get right on that. Hey Bob, we’ve got another one. What’s that? Unconstitutional? Who said?! Our Forefathers? Well, get them on the phone! They’re dead?! When did this happen?! Well, lets put it up there. Sure it’ll get struck down by the courts, they’re such suckers for doing work, but at least it’ll look like we’re actually doing something. Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to charge an expensive lunch, or a trip to do some "research". It is an election year after all, and maybe it’ll help them forget the mishap with the hooker. Yes, yes, and probably the story about you taking all that money from all those lobbist as "donations". We’re back on top!

        Judge: Blah, blah, blah…wording is too vague. In violation of the First Amendment. NEXT!

        Parent: But….won’t someone think of the childrens!…Because I certainly can’t, how about you?

        Legislator: Hey, we tried. And we’ll keep trying…provided we’re elected again. Care to donate?

        This has been a satirical summary of Game Legislation.

        The moral?: Parents need to do their jobs, and not leave it to politicians who are just paying them lip service.

      • 0
        Keegs79 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

         PTC needs to stick their nose in their own damn business! Who are they to talk about video games when they have violence and such on tv on a daily basis! How stupid does organizations have to be to be willing to give up rights? One leads to another that will lead to another and such. I dont want any restrictions anything more than we have to.

      • 0
        GRIZZAM PRIME says:

        Oh and yes, I know the "THINGS COULD HAPPEN!" arguement isn’t really that great, but it is plausible that it could go down like that.

        -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

      • 0
        GRIZZAM PRIME says:

        I think many people are forgetting that a violation of the constitution stretches far beyond videogames. It’s not just "You can’t enforce private sector!" If that sort of thing is ruled constitutional, it affects many other facets of American life than mere games. A constitutional ruling stretches to everything, and , while some may think, "hey enforce the ESRB, it’s fine!", they fail to realize that if a private sector organization can be given authority in one area, it can always spread to others. Other private organizations could come knocking, asking for some legal teeth, and because of a freaking videogame ruling that could be interpreted to broadly, they may get it.

         

        -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

      • 0
        GRIZZAM PRIME says:

        I don’t think negotiating with irresponsible parents like in the PTC is a good idea. I remember my aunt once said "I wish the government would just censor TV so I didn’t have to pay attention to what my kids are watching." That is the mindset over at the PTC, and I seriously doubt they will be willing to stop at that. I’m not saying you aren’t entitled to your own opinion, I’m simply dissagreeing. I agree that carding on it’s own is not at all bad, but as with all legislation, it becomes tangled with other shit (and will be tangled with more shit as it goes through congress) and can have negative and unexpected consequences. Perhaps my opinion is swayed by the fact that I’m a constitutionalist, but I think it runs deeper than that. I also must ask, would anyone support this legislation if it were to keep kids from reading violent books? Just sayin’. Edited for spelling, punctuation, and point.

        -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

      • 0
        tony selby ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        actually it is a bad law, forcing every game to have to be rated to be sold is infringing on the free speach of indy game developers that perhaps can’t afford to get pay to get their games rated

        secondly you can not put the weight of law behind a private orginizations rating systems

        and thirdly by making the rating process transparent it compromises the ratings process that this bill is supposed to be enforcing

      • 0
        yuuri ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        The problem comes back to the bill would still be unconstitutional, even if all medea were to be covered. The recent ‘sting’ opperation done be the FTC (i think) showed that it is much easier for a minor to get a hold of a movie like the unrated copy of saw IV than a game like GTA IV. It’s been shown time and time again that regulating game/media sales that are not classified as obsene as unconstitutional, even to minors. As far as I can see, there isn’t a way to make such a law constitutional. I’d rather see the money that would be spent on these types of laws to go into parental education or other needed programs (like general school funding.)

         

        Game prices are going up due to development costs and lack of competition due to the big fish companies eating up the smaller one (EA anyone?). That and the general cost of living is going up.

      • 0
        gs2005 says:

        It *is* a bad and unfair law as well as unconstitutional by default, because it targets video games, specificially.  That’s it.

        Right now the ECA is the *best* solution.  Stupid fucking politicians and "watchdog" organizations who are loaded with incompetant parents as well as ignorant people who believe in the "nanny state" concept, do not need to be "worked with" at all.  They have already decided what they think is "right" even if it is legally invalid.  The constitution is the law of the land.

        Sometimes, it’s necessary for Federal judges to remind those who wish to legislate their version of morality on the masses, that laws must be acceptable within the original legal framework that built this country as the first consideration before all others.

      • 0
        Gray-17 says:

        Here’s a bit of news for you, it is a bad law.

        It makes it illegal to sell any games unless they are rated by the ESRB (something that isn’t free). This would include any pre-ESRB games, and any games the developer decides to sell online only due to the fact that it’d get an AO rating if it went by the ESRB. It forceably turns recommendations into restrictions, and does so with bias against one particular medium rather than treat all equally. It gives a private, non-elected body the power of law.

        It short it might be the weakest anti-videogame proposal yet, but that doesn’t make it any less unconstitutional.

      • 0
        Theoden says:

        Booo to the Entertainment Consumers Association. It’s not a bad law. If anything it legitimizes the ESRB and it’s self rating system.

        Yes there are some problems with it. It should be aimed at all media. And the ECA should come out and say this, they should say we have no problem keeping this kind of item, M-rated Games, out of childrens hands but we need to keep it from stopping game makers from making games they want, and gamers, of age, from getting the games they want to buy. But the ECA and others don’t do this, they stop and cry afoul of everything and we, ALL GAMERS, made jack-asses like Jack. If we just come out and worked with law-makers to make these laws fair and agreeable then people like Jack would die out and EA, T-2, Blizzard so on and so forth wouldn’t spend money on PR firms or Lawyers when smart fools like Jack sue them. They could put that money back into their games so I don’t have to pay 60Dollars for my game. It could go back down to 50 ; )~`

      • 0
        GRIZZAM PRIME says:

        Well then let’s ammend the constitution! I don’t think we should, I’m just trying to advance the arguement. I don’t support this legislation whatsoever.

        -If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we’d all be livin’ large.

      • 0
        gs2005 says:

        Well, I went to the ECA page and submitted my information.

        I don’t normally do this (I usually write and print a physical letter), but this particular topic, while annoying, isn’t SUPER annoying, like Leland Yee, so I’m not so hell bent on sending a physical letter to my senators/representatives this day.

      • 0
        BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Erznozik vs. City of Jacksonville that:

         "Speech that is neither obscene as to youths nor subject to some other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable for them. In most circumstances, the values protected by the First Amendment are no less applicable when government seeks to control the flow of information to minors."

        So beyond Speech that falls under the legal definition of "obscene to minors" which is the same as the Miller obscenity test for adults except all three prongs of that test are done in regards to minors, the government can’t restrict Free Speech access to minors. Unless of course they can proves that minors are actually harmed by playing such games BUT the evidence for that is extremely weak and inconsistant, incredibly flawed and biased as well as nothing more then psuedoscientific nonsense.

         

      • 0
        LAG (Law Abiding Gamer) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        I believe the entities whose rights are being violated here are the game publishers.  This regulation limits the publishers’ rights to sell something.  I’m not sure that there is any law stating that everyone has the right to BUY something (I may be wrong there).  The real constitutional issue, as I see it, is whether or not Congress can pass a law that regulates the distribution of 1st-Amendment-protected material without also regulating similar material (movies, television, etc.).  If I’m correct, then the age of the purchaser becomes irrelevant.

      • 0
        sqlrob says:

        No, the supreme court has upheld that minors have Constitutional rights. It’s somewhat limited compared to an adult, but they still exist.

        And regulating media for one group is effectively impossible.

         

      • 0
        Anonymous says:

        I beleive that this bill will ultimately fail, however, I did want to bring up a question.

        Wasn’t there something that says that you don’t actually have constitutional rights until you’re of voting age?  I’m probably wrong on this, but I thought I heard that somewhere

      • 0
        sqlrob says:

        Why? It’s still obviously unconstitutional.

        There’s then two possibilities for the way the bill is writtine

        1) Government does the ratings.

          Obviously unconstitutional, you just broke the First Amendment. Government can’t get into speech regulation without immediate harm being shown.

        2) Third party does the ratings (e.g. MPAA, ESRB, ALA)

         Again, unconstitutional, this time by the Fifth Amendment. Third parties can not be given force of law.

         

      • 0
        Mr. Manguy says:

        Personally, I’d go a step further and I would support such a bill.

        “A reasonable man adapts himself to suit his environment. An unreasonable man persists in attempting to adapt his environment to suit himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw

      • 0
        GameDevMich says:

        I keep an eye on anyone who represents me =)

        Senator Nelson might be in opposition, but he doesn’t really let on all that much.  Whenever I write to both represenatives, I usually get a more detailed and personal response from Senator Martinez….a bit of irony in that, neh?

        Senator Martinez might be more inclined to support regulation of violent media, but I am willing to take the plunge and say he at least sounds open to hearing the other side.  That’s why it’s so important for other Floridians to get into contact with them.  They are aware of the bill.  They are considering which side to go for.  Now, they need to know how the voters want to be represented!

      • 0
        GameDevMich says:

        From Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL):
        " Dear Mr. Perry:

        Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 5990, the Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act. I understand your concerns and appreciate your taking the time to be involved and informed about matters important to Florida and our nation.

        Introduced by Representative Matheson, this legislation is pending before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Please know that I will keep your views in mind if this issue is considered before the full Senate. If you have any other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future."

         

        From Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL)
        " Dear Mr. Perry:

        Thank you for contacting me regarding video game content. I appreciate hearing from you and would like to respond to your concerns.

        The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) was established in 1994 and is a self-governing body that provides information and ratings for video games. Under the ESRB, games are given one of six ratings which include Early Childhood (EC), Everyone (E), Everyone 10+ (E10+), Teen (T), Mature (M), and Adults Only (AO). The ESRB also provides content descriptions on the back of each game package describing what elements may be displayed in the video game.

        On April 12, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report on marketing violent content to children. The study found that the video game industry seems to be complying with the advertising restrictions on M-rated video games on television shows that are popular with teenagers. However, the FTC found that the ESRB is not adequately enforcing internet marketing restrictions.

        As a proud grandfather and father of three, I understand a parent’s desire to ensure our children are protected from violent or sexually explicit video games. While I believe that regulations should not necessarily restrict individual expression, I do maintain the belief that media outlets have a responsibility to their consumers to exercise proper judgment when providing or selling potentially offensive material.

        Again, thank you for contacting me. If you have any additional questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. In addition, for more information about issues and activities important to Florida, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at http://martinez.senate.gov.

        Sincerely,

        Mel Martinez
        United States Senator"

         

      • 0
        LAG (Law Abiding Gamer) ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

      • 0
        Stinking Kevin says:

         

        If you think you have some God-given right to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do in my privately owned store, that’s a problem. Mind your own household, parent your own kid, and stay out of my business.

      • 0
        Anonymous says:

        As the above post says, do they do this for movies, book, music?  No, it singles out video games and thats uncontituational.  Good going PTC, you guys fail yet again.

      • 0
        Vinzent ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        Because it sets a precedent that the government can enforce regulations imposed and defined by the private sector. Once that door is opened, the RIAA can demand swat teams and shock troops. The PTC can use military might to shutdown naughty cable programming, and Haliburton can forceably drill wherever they want because "they said so".

        Also, you’ll find organizations like the PTC and NIMF seeking to supplant the ESRB rating system. Thus ensuring that our children can only play the games that THEY claim are wholesome entertainment. Mario cart will be rated M, while "Dial M for Moses" and "Murderous Crusade: Retake the Holy Land" will be rated E for everyone.

      • 0
        PHOENIXZERO says:

        They could successfully enforce it 99.9% of the time but these groups would still bitch about the .1% and still demand the government to step in because then it would be one big step in what their real goal is.

      • 0
        Adamas Draconis says:

        Ok why make a law to make retailers do what they are anyway? Does this make sense to anybody?

        Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

      • 0
        Anonymous says:

        I think you’re spot on and it also highlights the common perception that video games are more child oriented than anything else.  While this may have been the case with the old Atari systems, many of use raised on older systems have grown up and the video game industry has matured as well.  It’s not just a youthful passtime but something that is being enjoyed by many people in many different age groups.

        If there is a regulation to be handed down it should be handled by the retailers and the parents, not enforced by government institutions which should be dealing with more important issues.  Maybe things have changed since I was a kid but I recall being driven to the store and having my dad with me when I made my game selection.  It’s not the much effort to find out what your kids are playing, especially if you want to become involved in their lives.

      • 0
        Aliasalpha says:

        As a parent, I’d be offended if my child couldn’t buy things.

        Sure I’m not really a parent & would prefer to die rather than have children but there’s doubtlessly a parallel universe where I am one & HE’S offended by the suggestion.

      • 0
        Stinking Kevin says:

         

        Really? All forms of media? Like billboards? Lawn signs? Newspaper editorials? Spoken conversations in public places?

        It does annoy me that subjective opinions about the age-appropriateness of a game’s narrative elements, as provided by a part-time employee whose salary is paid by the game publishers trade organization, will suddenly become enforceable by law.

        I guess we’re just different in that regard.

      • 0
        L42yB says:

        This bill is only OK with me provided it includes ALL forms of media and not just games.  Otherwise I can’t really see anything about it that annoys me…

        — mostly harmless

      • 0
        BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        The problem is it is not the government’s job to be a surrogate parent, at least when it comes to this issue. If we start restrciting Free Speech media to minors under the basis of helping parents then we have to do it for all Free speech meida out there that a parent out there would find inappropriate or unsuitable for their children.

        We’d have to restrict the dessimination of the Holy Bible to minor’s as atheist, jewish and muslim parents don’t want their children getting ahold ot it. We’d have to restrict the dessimination of Harry Potter novels and Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species to minors as religious fundamentalists don’t want their children to have it. We’d have to rectrict the dessimination of Conservative based literature to minors as liberal parents don’t want their children to get ahold ot it and vise versa for liberal litertaure and conservative parents.

        Nothing under the constitution bars a parent from restricting their own children’s access to Free Speech media they don’t want them to have, so parents are still in charge of what their children can or cannot watch, play, read or listen to.

         

      • 0
        Jabrwock says:

        It does not limit adults’ access to any games they want to buy for themselves or for their children

        No, but on the other hand, it pretends games are more harmful than TV, movies, etc. There’s no equivalent laws for DVDs, or forcing V-chips to be default "on" unless the parents turn it off.

        It’s substitute parenting. Parents have even less incentive to pay attention, because they are safe in the knowledge that the government is watching their kids for them.

        If parents can’t be bothered to look at their kids’ game collections once in a while, they aren’t very good parents.

        Parents need to learn one simple thing. "Not in MY house." People are so spineless nowadays.

        — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

      • 0
        yuuri ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

        it’s wrong because it only addresses one type of medium (not movies or music, just video games.) other bills that have tried to do this have ‘passed’ but were ultimately struck down as being unconstitutional. then the government had to pay for the lawyers for the esa on top of having to pay for their own. lets not waste the money. it could really be of more use in other things.

         

        besides, retailers are already doing this, and are much better at carding video games than they are at carding for movies or music. there was an ftc (i think it was the ftc) report recently that showed this. it’s actually easier for a teen to get his hands on an unrated copy of saw IV than it is for the teen to get his hands on GTA IV.

      • 0
        Radio Guy says:

        It does not limit adults’ access to any games they want to buy for themselves or for their children – it merely helps ensure that children can only access age appropriate video games if they are accompanied by an adult.

        Sounds fine to me, I dont agree with the idea that teenagers are endangered by games but i respect the right of the parent to ultimatly decide weather or not they should play the game.

      • 0
        PHOENIXZERO says:

        They did, I think the last time was back in the 90s, but seeing how big and powerful Hollywood’s lobbying groups were (and are more so today) it was squashed rather quickly. That might have been just theaters though, IIRC it’s what lead to theaters cracking down on minors getting into R rated movies.

      • 0
        Gray-17 says:

        No, HR5990 wants to make it illegal to sell M-rated games to anyone under 17, AO-rated to anyone under 18, and a $5,000 dollar fine to anyone that does.

      • 0
        Benji says:

        Why not hold DVD movie sales to the same standards? No one’s crying for those to be legislated.

        There’s a host of more ambiguous free-speech issues that not everyone cares about, but I always figure the failure to treat movies and games the same, when there’s no reason to figure they’re different, is the most damning feature. You can make an argument for controlling violent media, but I think saying you want to regulate one specific industry just because some parents don’t like it is nothing short of shameless, useless political grandstanding.

      • 0
        LujanD says:

        So, all this bill asks is that retailers would be forced to hang up ESRB references as well as check IDs for adult games?

        Honestly, I really don’t see anything wrong with this. They’re not even saying children can’t buy adult games, they’re just asking for a parent to be present if they want to.

      • 0
        GameDevMich says:

        I just received a reply from Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), in regard to my e-mail requesting he take notice of this bill and consider the detriment it could have.

        Currently, the bill proposed by Representative Matheson is pending in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

        I’m glad I got some kind of response from him, but I still favor the one I received from Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL).  It was obvious from his reply that he really took time to look at the bill and consider it from both a politician’s standpoint, and that of a parent/grandparent.

        I encourage my fellow Floridians to send out their messages as well, as our senators have taken notice and are open to opinions on it.

        Despite the well meaning intent of the bill, a trickle can eventually turn into a river.  I’d rather fight the trickle now, than get stuck throwing sandbags in front of a flooding dam of anti-videogame legislation.

      • 0
        PHOENIXZERO says:

        The point was that no matter what is done or how well retailers enforce the rating, groups like the PTC would never be happy, they want government involvement because they know what that could lead to and it fits perfectly with their true agenda. It also would make them feel warm and fuzzy inside just like the somewhat failure that are age restrictions of alcohol and cigarettes gives groups like MADD and whatever anti-smoking groups that are out there.

         But yeah, the goverment sucks at it just like it does at most everything else.

      • 0
        Benji says:

        Also, wasn’t this the bill that gave out harsher fines for selling video games (not proven hazardous) to minors than are currently mandated for selling alcohol or cigarettes (proven hazardous, as they are technically poison) to same minors? A lot of people find that strange – although pointing this out may just motivate the government to raise the fines for selling minors alcohol and cigarettes.

      • 0
        Jabrwock says:

        They could successfully enforce it 99.9% of the time

        Not even cigarettes and alcohol are enforced that well, and giving those to a minor nets you jail time and fines, has for years… In New Jersey in 2002, nearly 20% of minors could still buy cigarettes. This was an improvement from the 85% of minors who could buy cigarettes in 1994…

        I hate the comparison, but just to give us a baseline of *other* things the government currently enforces age ratings on… So even the government does a crummy job.

        — If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap…

      • 0
        Gray-17 says:

        Partly the slippery slope, partly the unfairness of not also making say R and NC-17 ratings legally enforced, partly the unconstitutionality of giving the ESRB ratings the force of law.

        For any that wish to read the text for themselves, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ and do a search for HR5990.

        It’s not simply a matter of forcing an ID check. It’s outright making it illegal to sell an AO game to someone under 18, or an M rated game to someone under 17.

      • 0
        GameDevMich says:

        On top of the "Can’t give an inch" argument, there is also the cry for fairness.  If the bill covered books, DVDs, movie theaters, and Internet sales, I’d be less concerned.

      • 0
        Mark says:

        So…this does exactly what?  Makes that which is voluntary into something compulsory?

        Is the opposition to this basically one of those slippery slope kind of arguements?  "Can’t give an inch, they’ll take a mile" kind of thing?

        I’m genuinely curious.

      • 0
        PHOENIXZERO says:

        The nuts of the PTC in support of this, I’m shocked!

         

        Can’t wait for the "I don’t see anything wrong with this, my country already does something like this" replies that completely miss the point. 

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