Now, Utah Bill Races Against the Clock

Despite the Utah State Senate’s passage of HB 353 by an overwhelming 25-4 margin, the bill is racing against the clock to survive.

Because the Senate amended the bill (more about that later) it now must go back to the Utah House for approval.

The catch is, that all has to happen by midnight in Salt Lake City. Which means that, as I write this, there are about 5.5 hours to get this done. The House is on a dinner break at this moment, which ends at 7:00 P.M. their time, leaving five hours of actual time to work on legislative business.

It seems doable, but HB 353 isn’t listed on the House activity calendar yet, so…

UPDATE: Jack Thompson, who drafted the original version of the bill, commented on the time pressure in an e-mail to GamePolitics:

Now it’s back to the House with the amended Senate bill, which applies to all sales, including Internet sales. This is fun, and the question is, does it strike midnight before we win?

UPDATE 2: HB 353 status page shows that the House has concurred with the Senate amendments. Next stop for the bill is Gov. Huntsman’s desk.

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56 comments

  1. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    "We reserve the right to card" as store policy listed inside the store still is well enough to cover, since you’d have to advertize stuff regarding the rating, not just show the rating.

  2. 0
    Zerodash says:

    "God Warriors" think that they are above morality because they are doing their master’s work.  As long as you think you are serving God, then these sociopaths think they can do anything.  That’s why they don’t care that they are destroying America with their bullshit.

  3. 0
    Sylvire says:

    There is one thing in this bill that I have been wondering for sometime.

    Now, everyone pretty much now knows that all the retailers has to do is say "we don’t card people" and tell all the clerks that "no, we don’t fire/suspend you if you sell M rated game to 12 year old" and they have no trouble.

    But, the bill also has this line

    (u) (i) advertises that the person will not H. [ sell ] provide .H a good or service labeled

    83a     with an age
    84      restriction or recommendation

    Notice the word restriction. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but in USA, porn movies fall under age restriction category right?

    So here comes the question I have been wondering. If sex store clerk sells porn movie to underage, does that mean (if it’s written in law) that guilty party for false advertisement in this case is goverment?

     

  4. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Now they need a fake ID to get the game, WTF

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  5. 0
    Zephyrus says:

    my apologies, i was not inferring that it may be a legal action, my point was that there are bigger issues to deal with in society these days rather than focusing on useless legislation

  6. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Not only is it illegal in all 50 states, including Utah, it is prohibited by the teachings of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (See, EZK? I can play both sides of the aisle.)

  7. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    Actually, its latest amendment lists that they have to provide false identification, though it’s surrounded by S-symbols that I don’t know the meaning of.

  8. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    The S-symbols are the Senate additions to the bill, the H-symbols are the House additions.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  9. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Yes, I think Young consumers can lie about thier age, Another fatal flaw of Thompson’s video game law

    Thompson, you Lost,  The minute Morely amended your Law it was no longer drafted by you, Just give up

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  10. 0
    magic_taco says:

    Im actually hoping the bill does pass cause i really want to see what goes on from here, And i dont even live in utah.

     

    Jack’s saying of "We" only means him, He knows some of the politician’s he got into his little "Fun" dont really have no idea about the bill’s possible real purpose.

  11. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    Im sorry for the comments yesterday, I think because that video game bill is going nowhere(reguardless if Thompsons says Constutional or Not

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  12. 0
    Deamian says:

    "This is fun, and the question is, does it strike midnight before we win?"

    Who’s "we"? You wrote it, they took it, and forgot/dind’t want to mention you untill they were corrected by the press.

  13. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    I am rather looking forward to a lawsuit because it would be quite interesting to see arguments made in such a different case than the normal anti-games laws.

  14. 0
    Arell says:

    And after the Gov. signs it, the next step is a courthouse, where it will almost assuredly be struck down.

    And if that happens, congradulations Utah!  You just spent hundreds of thousands of the taxpayers dollars (legal fees) with nothing to show for it!  Yay, pats on the back for everyone!

  15. 0
    Lazier Than Thou says:

    I remember hearing a study somewhere that of around 1500 societies that lived in the past, around 900 of them allowed polygamy.  Not only that, but polygamy is generally looked at as being more in line with male evolutionary sexual psychology, suggesting that it actually has its’ place.

    However, all of that is beside the point when you realize that what you said is remarkably ignorant.  Polygamy is no more legal in Utah than it is in any of the other 49 states.

  16. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    If you live in Utah, perhaps you could ask Senator Dayton why the amendment making clear a rating on the box is not an advertizement was removed? I myself wonder if that is because they consider it an advertizement, or if they did not deem it necessary.

  17. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    Since it went to the Governor and I assume he actually gets time to study it, there’s no clear victor yet since the actual use of the law is still under debate.

  18. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    I’m happy to hear that someone takes their responsibilities in this multi-faceted issue seriously. Thank you for educating parents!

    Jack Thompson doesn’t believe he’s doing good, he doesn’t believe he’s helping anybody but the game companies. The man passed law school and practiced law for many years-then threw it all away in what can be described a giant pissy fit. Somebody paid him to do this, and paid him well, and it isn’t the pro-censorship side, but the anti-regulation side. (I put myself at the pro-regulation anti-censorship side)

    We can expect Jack Thompson to single handedly do more good for the anti-regulation anti-censorship movements than the ECA and all of its readers could combined, simply because he consistantly demonstrates that he is more unstable than the people he claims are the dangers to society.

    I think it takes someone that suffered a late onset of mental illness, such as manic depression/bi-polar (which his actions tend to exhibit) or he’s someone that’s really a public relations mastermind martyring himself to a cause he’s pretending to ‘fight against’, to do what he does.

    We should thank Jack, his sacrifice of his dignity and his job to educate the masses on how violent video games pose absolutely no threat to today’s children will be forgotten, or we should pity him. Something horrible happened in his mind and his life, before he started burning bridges with everyone around him, became a living hell in his own psyche.

  19. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    A classic example of legislation ignoring blatantly obvious, more easily corrected flaws in other legislation based on religious preference. People of all religious views do it-including atheists-and to every other group it’s obnoxious and stupid.

  20. 0
    Alex says:

    "Now it’s back to the House with the amended Senate bill, which applies to all sales, including Internet sales. This is fun, and the question is, does it strike midnight before we win?"

    No, because if it strikes midnight, then the bill is dead in the water, therefore you automatically lose. Kind of an odd question to ask really.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

  21. 0
    Zephyrus says:

    so… in Utah selling an M rated videogame to an underage buyer when your company has promised not to is bad, but, and follow me here…. polygamy is okay? wtf?

  22. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    No company in their right mind is going to bother taking any unneccasary risks in Utah, nor are any game developers going to bother setting up shop there.

    World of Warcraft : 11 million players at ~13 dollars a month giving a rough average. A single product bringing in >150 million a month. That right there is what I call some SERIOUS taxable income.

  23. 0
    Jeramii says:

    heres the deal for me…. i live in utah, i worked at a video game store in utah for two years. every employee where i work truly meant it when they talked to parents about M rated games. Nothing pissed me off more than the stupid parents who don’t care what we had to say, and would buy there kids GTAIV or Manhunt 2. Sadly, that for me proves this bill is a mistake, parents who are educated generally make the right decision, sadly not all do. I feel that all this bill will do is make things worse, it truly is about educating the parents.

     

    jack thompson, if you read this. You are the devil himself, look at the things you write to game politics! you are an attention whore. From the things I’ve seen, and read about you doing, I know for a fact that if there is a God, you are not on his side. You are just a false prophet who thinks he can change the world, when all he is doing is bringing the world to hell itself. congrats to you and your many useless journeys, and please. Get out of my state.

     

    (what i mean from all this, is that ESRB is as good as it will get. holding companies with values hostage won’t be a good thing in any form of way! there should be bills passed requiring bringing attention to the issues at hand.)

    Utah- Male- 20- Owner of PS3, Wii, 360.

  24. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    It hasn’t even reached his desk yet. The governor can sign or veto it whenever he wants at this point.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  25. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    If the governor vetoes it, it dies, since the legislature would be unable to override the veto, as they adjourn at midnight tonight(unless they call a special session sometime later this year). They’d have to start over in 2010.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  26. 0
    Cerabret100 says:

    what if the governor vetos it? i realize that probably won’t happen, but if it is veto, does it die, or can the whole process start over again?

  27. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    I think this is all a bit of a Cinderella act to be honest.

    Because even if the Law does get passed by midnight, then there will be some oposition by the Videogame Industry and also the ESRB and also by Rockstar and Take Two against the Eagle Forum for slander for trying to like the GTA games to the murder case.

    Also looking at the ammount of slander that the Eagle Forum used to sell this legislation to the Utah politicians, yeah, I could see some real issues even if it is not Freedom of Speech issues, but it is deffinately Slander issues if people have to say in court that they will tell the truth.

     

    I wonder how long it would be because at least someone in the industry stands up and ask these people that there has been allot of evidence that violent videogames are NOT responsible for violence in real life.

    Like something like that has to happen one day before all this shit ends?

     

  28. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    It’s just another Law to fuel Thompsons Greed(The bernie madoff of the video game industry)

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  29. 0
    JDKJ says:

    With a cap of $2000 on damages under the Truth in Advertising Act, ain’t too many trial lawyers jumping on this — not unless they got nothing better else to do. And if they ain’t got nothing better to do than chase down $2000-a-pop cases, then they need to hurry up and get they asses out the trial game.

  30. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    They’re looking out for their own, since the majority of politicians are trial lawyers.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  31. 0
    IsoNeko says:

    A toothless turd that only encompasses less than 1/10’000th of the land available on Earth.

    Utah is one state. Out of 49. With the United states being the only place to even have this law, United states isn’t even a continent. With 6 other continents to pick from…

    This bill is so small and insignificant to the outside world. It won’t make any decent impact anywhere else other than Utah, and even then, it’d be more of a bubble wrap pop, than a decent explosion.

  32. 0
    PushDustIn says:


    I think the fact that he actually got a bill to pass (regardless of his amendments) is victory for him. If the Supreme Court hears his case, he can point to this bill as a good thing (think of it as a ‘feather in the cap’). It could potentially sway some judges to his side. It would be a good political strategy for Mr. Thompson. 

    If it doesn’t help him win over the judges; he could try to squeeze himself into more and more political debates about violent video games and how to regulate them. I really think this is just step 1 for his ‘re-birth’ plan.

    http://www.katamaridemocracy.com

    http://twitter.com/PushDustIn

  33. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    Jack, you silly fool. This is what you would consider winning? A toothless turd, barely what you proposed due to the amendments? Myeh, I guess it’s better than nothing…

  34. 0
    Coyote says:

    Amusingly enough, I have already done just that, an anticipation of the passage of this bill.

    http://www.rampantgames.com/blog/2009/03/rampant-games-official-statement.html

    All this is is an "all clear" for lawsuit attorneys to go to town — nothing else. I guess that’s what JT meant by, "We win" – he was speaking on behalf of ambulance chasers everywhere, though he is no longer officially part of their fraternity.

    This is a blow against parents as well as the retail and games industries. But hey – in these times of hardship and economic instability, I guess the Utah politicians wanted to make sure our trial lawyers didn’t starve.

     

     

     

  35. 0
    Erik says:

    For shits and giggles the retailers should now advertise that they will never ID anyone reglardless of age.  And because of this laughable law they would have no choice but to not to ID anyone.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  36. 0
    Kincyr says:

    the question is, does it strike midnight before we win?

    umm… if it strikes midnight before, that counts as a loss for Jack. seems he thinks every racehorse wins if they cross the finish line, which sort of reminds me of this conversation from the Futurama episode "The Luck of the Fryrish":

    Leela: How’d you do, Fry?

    Fry: I’ll tell you when my horse finishes… bad.

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  37. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    It’s #6 on the commerce calandar

    Edit: now #5

    Edit again: it’s Now #4

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  38. 0
    Thomas McKenna says:

    Entirely true.

    To complete an online sale of a video game, you must present a credit card number.  Many times courts have ruled that a credit card shows parental consent in the eyes of the law.

    So, not only is the online retail ammendment completely uninforcible, but it fails at the utmost point of selling to minors without parental consent.  So, companies would have 2 complete means with which to defend themselves against any civil suit brought about by this ubsurd law.

    So, how long did they take to actually argue this, ammend it, and pass it?  I think the people of Utah should get their money back for all that time.

  39. 0
    JDKJ says:

    As usual, Mr. Eisen, a keen, piercing, and spot-on observation.

    And one which also raises some interesting issues about the exclusively on-line seller vis-a-vis the brick and motar seller and the former’s inherent inability to take advantage of the safe habor provision available to the latter regarding sale staff training and remediation and what the Equal Protection Clause imports to that situation. And what the brick and mortar seller’s inability to inherently and automatically fall within the age-misrepresentation habor as does the on-line seller means with respect to the Equal Protection Clause.

  40. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "…the amended Senate bill, which applies to all sales, including Internet sales." -Thompson

    That’s true.

    However, it’s hard to imagine a circumstance under which an online retailer could ever be accused of violating its "no sale to minors" policy because a minor would have to misrepresent his/her age to make the transaction.  The amended version of this bill excuses retailers when this happens.

     

    Andrew Eisen

  41. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    That’s if no member of the House objects to the amendments the Senate added to the bill.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  42. 0
    PHX Corp says:

    We got less than 4 hrs, 30 mins Left to go before the Legislsative session ends, Keep going

    F***, the House recived it

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  43. 0
    JDKJ says:

    Not neccessarily. I’d be surprised if when they come back, someone doesn’t move to place it at the top the calendar and that motion pass. I believe that’s allowed.

  44. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    So even a small amount of filibustering (a word that people don’t use enough) will pretty well kill it? 

    Hopefully it won’t pass, it sounds like an inefficient way to waste money, they could do that more efficiently by just sending the money straight to me, I badly need a new computer.

  45. 0
    Mottom22 says:

    Ah yes, this is a true victory for him. getting a bill passed that would make retailers not want to abide by the voluntary ESRB "suggestions"…. oh wait.

     

    unless… he wants the retailers to do this so he can point and say "see! the industry does sell to kids!" only for everyone with a sane mind to say back "yea… because of you!"

  46. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    "Now it’s back to the House with the amended Senate bill, which applies to all sales, including Internet sales. This is fun, and the question is, does it strike midnight before we win?"

    Can you name a single retailer that advertises it requires personal ID for online sales of Mature titles?

    You’re living in a fantasy world, Jack, if you think this law will in any way enable your crusade against the video game industry. It’s as simple as the retailers saying nothing to the effect that they positively do not sell Mature-rated titles to minors, and saying instead something like "we reserve the right to refuse sales of Mature-rated titles to customers who fail to present proper identification", which neither implies nor creates an obligation to do so.

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