Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

October 11, 2010 -

According to a report on the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance, a new rule from Consumer Product Safety Commission may make it so that packaged media like DVDs, videogames, and other products aimed at children will have tracking labels attached to them (PDF).

Part of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), the rule was meant to satisfy a congressional mandate for safety recalls on children’s products related to things like lead levels from toys and other products from China.

Most DVDs and videogames are not supposed to be subject to the new rule, but as EMA VP of Public Affairs Sean Bersell points out, some children’s entertainment may be classified by the CPSC as "children’s products." under this new rule anyway. The CPSC interprets a children's product as a "consumer product designed or intended primarily for children twelve years of age or younger."

In a note to EMA members, Bersell says that the rule provides "no blanket exemption for movies and video games aimed at children under age four." This is apparently a reversal of an earlier proposed interpretation. Bersell adds that the agency "had previously suggested that very young children lack the motor skills to personally use the products and the physical products themselves (as opposed to the content they contain) have no appeal to children."

This new rule takes effect upon publication in the Federal Register, located here.

Source: MESA Alliance


Comments

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

I wonder what this law will mean for makers of trading cards aimed at children considering the labels in question have to be permanent and remain with the product. It wouldn't do to label the packaging, as that is usually intended to be thrown away. It also wouldn't do to label a single card in each foil package, for cards in a given package are unlikely to remain together in the long term. Does this mean each card have to be labeled individually, effectively defacing the carefully-designed artwork on each card?

This is the kind of ill-thought law that really bugs me. Instead of requiring products to be labeled, how about requiring manufacturers to, in the event of a recall, recall all products that are indistinguishable from those being recalled? Manufacturers could then add distinguishing marks as they see fit and weigh the costs of doing so against the likelihood and costs of a potential recall.

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

This has absolutely nothing to do with the ratings of the game or maturity of the intended audience.  This was a horrible law created out of overreaction to the various toy recalls that makes it so every component of an item meant for children must be tested for dangerous substances (i.e. lead).  The testing is about $500 per test, so if you have a complex toy with dozens of parts, this can start to get expensive.

The basic effect is that small businesses are being run out of business, while Mattel (who were the reason this law was enacted) were given an opt out of the law and are the only company allowed to test all of their products in house.  Oh...and guess who just issued another $10 million toy recall...

Mattel.

I'm all for protecting the children, but this is a horrible, horrible law.

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Big Corporations have a long history of lobbying for restrictive laws and regulations for their industry for solely the purpose of keeping newer companies from forming. It happens in the toy business, the software industry, the copyright industry, even cosmetology. Government regulation is the friend of people and companies with deep pockets.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Perhaps so, but only when the regulations are WRITTEN by those deep-pocketed companies.

Which, unfortunately, is the majority of the time.

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Shit, really? That's fucked all to hell...

Oh shit! Hasbro! Transformers! They got a shit load of little parts. I hope this doesn't fuck them too bad... Or LEGOS! Not my precious LEGOS man, not my LEGOS...

Re: Games, DVDs, may be Subject to New CPSC Rule

Interesting.

This could actually be quite helpful, because if the age of twelve is the threshold for a game being "aimed at children", according to the government itself (which I'm not sure if this counts), that means that Leland Yee and his ilk should have some difficulty in claiming that the game industry markets its "ultra violent and graphic sex games" to minors, as the only games that would even remotely qualify for that are all labeled M for Mature. As in, not for kids twelve and below.

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