While the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) won a partial victory (preliminary injunction) earlier this year against the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) over an ordinance that attempted to prohibit Mature (M)-rated game advertisements, the trade group now has an even clearer win under its belt, as a Judge has permanently banned the CTA from “enforcing or directing” enforcement of the ordinance.
In a ruling (PDF) handed down on May 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer—who granted the preliminary injunction as well—ordered judgment against the CTA and dictated that prompt notice of the judgment be given to CTA officers, and any agents, servants, employees and attorneys. The CTA also agreed not to “appeal or otherwise attack the validity or enforceability of the Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction.”
Ordinance 008-147 took effect in January of 2009 and prohibited any advertisement that “markets or identifies a video or computer game rated ‘Mature 17+’ (M) or ‘Adults Only 18+’ (AO).” The ESA had argued that such a ban was unconstitutional.
ESA President Michael D. Gallagher stated, "We are pleased that the CTA chose not to pursue this further and waste valuable resources on this matter. It is our hope that other transit authorities will heed this ruling when determining whether to restrict advertisements."
It was also ruled that the ESA was entitled to recoup “reasonable” attorneys’ fees and costs related to the lawsuit.