Brown v. EMA Expenses Kicked to Ninth Circuit

October 3, 2011 -

It looks like the State of California and the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) have not quite completed their courtroom business together, but the rest of their battle will take place in a lower court.

The Supreme Court of the United States chose not to make a ruling on the EMA’s request that the court award it $1.4 million in attorney’s fees and expenses related to Brown v. EMA (08-1448). Instead, the court sent it back to the Ninth Circuit Court for adjudication.

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George A. Rose: Leland Yee Like Sisyphus

July 1, 2011 -

A San Francisco Chronicle guest editorial by George A. Rose, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, takes San Francisco mayoral candidate, State Senator (D-San Francisco) and anti-game crusader Leland Yee to task for his promise to continue to fight for a violent videogame law. This even after a bitter defeat and a strong rebuke at the hands of seven U.S. Supreme Court Justices, no less. The gist of the editorial is that many of Yee's misguided policies and political grandstanding costs money that California doesn't have right now.

27 comments | Read more

No Shortage of Opinions on Brown v. EMA Decision

June 30, 2011 -

Hey GPers!  Up for some opinions on the recent Supreme Court decision that gave Leland Yee’s violent video game law the Kuribo Boot?

17 comments | Read more

Yee Vows to Fight on Despite SCOTUS Decision

June 27, 2011 -

While Leland Yee maybe disappointed with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Brown v. EMA, he says that he isn't done with the fight against violent videogames, according to multiple reports. One story from ABC station KGO and another from newspaper The San Francisco Appeal report says that Yee was heartened by the dissenting opinions of Thomas and Breyer, and that comments from Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito have left the door open for future legislation.

"Even with the existing court, there may be, if we craft the bill differently, there may be a basis for trying to get another hearing within the Supreme Court on this critical matter," Yee said.

46 comments | Read more

Leland Yee Issues Statement on SCOTUS Ruling

June 27, 2011 -

California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) issued a statement expressing his disappointment that the Supreme Court of the United States struck down California’s violent videogame law (Brown v. EMA), upholding a previous ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the law was unconstitutional.

Yee points out in his statement that while the decision was 7-2, only five agreed with the lower court's decision, two dissented completely, and two other Justices left the door open for a law that had a narrower focus on videogames. Justices Roberts and Alito said that a law could be more narrowly tailored and Justices Breyer and Thomas believed that California’s law was perfectly acceptable.

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Leland Yee Reaction to Brown v. EMA Decision

June 27, 2011 -

While we wait for California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) to issue a full statement via a press conference, PC Magazine manages to get the following quote from the man responsible for writing the law that the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled as unconstitutional.

California State Sen. Leland Yee said that today's ruling by the Supreme Court "put the interests of corporate America" before the interests of children.

"As a result of their decision, Wal-Mart and the video game industry will continue to make billions of dollars at the expense of our kids' mental health and the safety of our community," Yee said. "It is simply wrong that the video game industry can be allowed to put their profit margins over the rights of parents and the well-being of children."

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SCOTUS Ruling Expected Monday, Leland Yee Prepares

June 23, 2011 -

There is one day left on the Supreme Court's calendar Monday, June 27, which means that it will probably rule on Brown v. EMA. For those that support and oppose the 2005 California videogame law, this means statements need to be prepared, press conferences need to be scheduled and speech writers need to have something ready to go.

The man who wrote the bill, California State Senator (and current San Francisco mayoral candidate), says he will be ready. Yee will bring an entourage with him as well including San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr as well as "doctors and child advocates" to issue responses to the Court’s ruling. The press conference will be held at the Hiram Johnson State Building foyer, 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco at 9:30 AM local time.

In announcing his press conference Yee said the following:

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Yee Replaced with Common Sense Media CEO for Commonwealth Club Event

March 17, 2011 -

There was supposed to be a debate tonight between California State Senator Leland Yee and George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard, but apparently the San Francisco mayoral candidate can't make it. He has been replaced by James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media - according to Destructoid. I suppose if you are going to get someone that might fight hard against games other than Yee, then Steyer is a decent replacement. Still gamers would have enjoyed seeing Yee debate Rose.

Destructoid also reports that Grand Theft Childhood author Cheryl K. Olsen has taken an interest in the discussion. She will be in the audience, but will not be taking part in the discussion. The moderator would be smart to include her.. More details on the event here.

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Reminder: Commonwealth Club Video Game Debate March 17

March 15, 2011 -

Just a friendly reminder that the Commonwealth Club will host a panel featuring California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco); George Rose, the Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer for Activision Blizzard; and Michael McConnell, the Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The trio will debate whether playing violent video games leads to violence in the real world. They will also discuss at length AB 1179, the notorious anti-game legislation that was signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2005 but never put into effect because of a court-ordered injunction. Now the case is before the Supreme Court.

The debate will take place this Thursday (March 17) at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco () at 6:00 PM local time. More information from the Commonwealth Club follows:

3 comments | Read more

Commonwealth Club to offer Live Stream of Yee- Rose Debate

March 4, 2011 -

You may recall that a long time ago (see this story on February 9) we mentioned that the Commonwealth Club would host a video game debate. On March 17 George Rose, Executive VP and Chief Public Policy Officer at Activision Blizzard, and Leland Yee, California State Senator (and San Francisco mayoral candidate), will get together with Michael McConnell, Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. The roundtable / debate / deathmatch will be moderated by John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The organizers of the event wanted those that are not capable of making it to the event that they can watch a web cast of it live via its LiveStream Channel. It will run live on March 17 at 6 PM Pacific Time.

5 comments | Read more

Duke Journal Analysis: Schwarzenegger v.EMA

February 10, 2011 -

The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy offers an exhaustive analysis of Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association in an article called "The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association."

Beatrice M. Hahn dissects every aspect of the case - from the positions of both sides and the lack of data supporting the state's case, to free speech issues and the definition of obscenity. While the lengthy review of the case is interesting, readers will be more fascinated with the conclusions: the Supreme Court will probably rule against California's 2005 video game law.

From the last three paragraphs of the article:

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Report: Leland Yee Threatened over Video Game Legislation

January 14, 2011 -

According to a report in the San Francisco Examiner, California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) received several death threats related to his work on video game legislation. The threats came to light as part of an investigation of threats against the senator that might be related to the Arizona congresswoman Gabriel Giffords shooting. Both Yee and his spokesman, Adam Keigwin, apparently received threats related to video games.

The investigations are the result of the Tucson, Arizona shooting rampage, and a heightened sense of fear among law enforcement and politicians who are rightfully concerned about safety.

The relevant part of the story:

"In one of the office's most notable incidents, calls to Yee's office said the senator was a "dead man" if he showed up to a 2005 news conference on violent video game legislation.

 

18 comments | Read more

Schwarzenegger Exits Job with 22 Percent Approval Rating

January 3, 2011 -

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger leaves office with an approval rating of 22 percent. Seven years ago, he promised to reform the state of California and Sacramento, but his opponents would argue that all he did was create bigger problems for the state. Gamers know him best as the name on the 2005 video game law that was argued before the Supreme Court in November. While Schwarzenegger did not pen the law (State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco wrote it), he certainly claimed ownership of it and gleefully signed it into law before a District court ruled it "unconstitutional."

Sure, the 2005 game law isn't the reason Schwarzenegger wasn't a popular governor, but it is one check mark in a long list of mistakes the governor made during his 7 year tenure of overseeing California.

4 comments | Read more

Leeland Yee: Parents should be able to control what kids watch

December 20, 2010 -

An editorial penned by California State Senator and anti-game crusader Leeland Yee says that parents should be able to control what kids watch, but how parents come to that conclusion is the probably a sticky subject for many of our readers.

In the editorial Yee says that California has "been hard at work trying to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent video games. In the Legislature, we have attempted to give greater authority to parents in determining which video games are appropriate for their children."

He is of course speaking of the law they passed five years ago that was ultimately struck down by the courts shortly thereafter:

18 comments | Read more

Yee Out to Ruin Xmas for Kids

November 23, 2010 -

Citing their “potential harmful effects,” California State Senator, and anti-videogame law architect, Leland Yee is advising parents and anyone else buying gifts for kids this holiday season, to avoid purchasing violent videogames.

Yee urged purchasers to retain awareness of marketing and advertising that targets kids, check a game’s age ratings and content descriptors and to become familiar with the game. He warned that if any violent or sexual images appear on a game’s box, or in its title, “you can assume these themes are also in the game."

It was also suggested that shoppers avoid all first and third-person shooters entirely, as they “usually focus on gunning down hundreds of people,” and to avoid games “that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior.”

Video of Yee after Filing for Mayoral Exploratory Committee

November 15, 2010 -

Last week, California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) announced the formation of an exploratory committee as part of his bid to run for Mayor of San Francisco in 2011.

3 comments | Read more

Yee Making Plans for Next Office

November 10, 2010 -

California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), the chief architect behind the California game law now starring in the Supreme Court production of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, is considering a run for Mayor of San Francisco.

In an email to supporters, Yee stated that he walked into city hall today and opened an exploratory committee for Mayor. Yee added, “As someone who grew up in San Francisco, attended public schools, raised a family, and has been serving this city for over 20 years, I am excited about starting this new discussion.”

Yee’s website is already adorned with “For Mayor” descriptors.

After saying that everything he is today, he owes to San Francisco, Yee offered an overview of his life so far:

18 comments | Read more

Yee's Reaction to SCOTUS Arguments

November 4, 2010 -

California State Senator Leland Yee is the architect of the law at the center of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA and attended Tuesday’s oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court.

Reacting to the proceedings, Yee’s office issued a statement indicating that the Senator was “pleased” with the discussion in the nation’s highest court, and was particularly taken with the comments of Justice Stephen Breyer, who, Yee said, “… clearly understands the intent and need for our legislation to limit the sale of excessively violent video games to children.”

Yee Continued:

23 comments | Read more

Schwarzenegger Mum on Case Bearing His Name

November 3, 2010 -

For a man whose name makes up half the name of a case in front of the Supreme Court, lame duck California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been remarkably silent about Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, a case which saw oral arguments presented in front of SCOTUS yesterday.

A quick look at Arnie’s tweet stream for the last week shows the Governator urging his followers to vote, congratulating the San Francisco Giants for winning the World Series, disclosing how he voted on various state propositions and congratulating his replacement, newly elected former governor Jerry Brown.

10 comments | Read more

Leeland Yee SCOTUS Photo Shoot

November 2, 2010 -

Work it, Senator! California State Senator Leland Yee says some stuff on the steps of the Supreme Court. I do not know what he is saying exactly but I imagine it's something along the lines of "video games train our children to commit acts of violence and cannibalism!" Anyway, politicians and press conferences go together like ants and picnics.. or war and famine. Caption the pictures in the comments for fun (thanks to the ECA's Hal Halpin for passing these along):

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Game Developer Argues for Free Speech in Post Editorial

November 1, 2010 -

Game developer Daniel Greenberg (pictured) has authored a Washington Post opinion piece in which he argues that the Supreme Court should rule that videogames are free speech when it eventually rules on Schwarzenegger vs. EMA.

As a game developer, Greenberg called himself “disheartened and a little perplexed” at seeing games compared to cigarettes and alcohol by California State Senator Leland Yee, and he wondered “how government bureaucrats are supposed to divine the artistic value that a video game has for a 17-year-old.”

In describing newer games such as BioShock, Fable 2 and Fallout 3, Greenberg wrote:

Yee: Supreme Court Will "Provide Direction" for Future Game Laws

October 29, 2010 -

In an interview with GameSpot, Leland Yee, the California Senator who penned the state’s violent game law, expresses hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the law after hearing oral arguments next week.  But if it doesn’t…

“At the very least, I believe that the Supreme Court is going to provide some direction to legislators who are interested in limiting the sale of violent video games to children. That's because this law has been struck down twice already--there was an injunction on it which we appealed and lost. Then we went to the federal appeals court and we lost again. So I am hoping the Supreme Court will look at this issue and at least provide some guidance as to what might be possible within the framework of the law.”

Yee also discusses his lack of faith in the ESRB.

35 comments | Read more

Students Grant Win to Game Industry in Schwarzenegger Case Sim

October 26, 2010 -

Students at the California Western School of Law (CWSL) staged a simulation of the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA case last week and ultimately, issued a ruling in favor of the game industry.

CWSL Professor Glenn Smith, organizer of the event (pictured), discussed with GamePolitics the unique approach he and his students adapted for the simulation—each student assigned to play the role of a Supreme Court Justice conducted “substantial research” into a particular judge’s past case decisions, writings and speeches in order to more effectively immerse themselves into the role.

Guest Column: ECA General Counsel Outlines Road Ahead for Schwarzenegger Case

October 25, 2010 -

With all of the interest around the violent video game case, Schwarzenegger v EMA, we get questions daily on the process, the case, the legal principals, our amicus brief, others’ briefs, and what is going to happen on the day of oral arguments and beyond. While we hope that the following information will shed some light on the oral argument process, we also routinely refer folks to the Supreme Court website, as well as to relevant articles on GamePolitics.

Yee “Hopeful” for SCOTUS Win

October 25, 2010 -

As the case surrounding a law he originally authored makes its way to the Supreme Court next week, California State Senator Leland Yee issued a handful of comments related to what will eventually be a landmark decision for gamers.

The Court will, of course, hear oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v EMA on Tuesday, November 2 at 10:00 AM.

Yee said he was “hopeful” that the Court would give “parents a valuable tool to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games.”

Yee additionally claimed that SCOTUS has "often ruled" in favor of protecting kids and limiting their access, citing topics such as "pornography, gambling, marriage, firearms, jury duty, tobacco, alcohol, voting, abortion, licenses, and the death penalty" as examples.

Yee continued:

PTC Wants You to Thank AGs That Supported California

October 19, 2010 -

The Parents Television Council (PTC) is urging its ranks to thank attorneys-general from the states that supported the California side in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA case now before the Supreme Court.

The PTC’s website features the mailing and email addresses for AGs from Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas and Virgina in order to make the process easier.

But what if you don’t live in one of the aforementioned states? The PTC then would urge you to “please write to thank California Governor Arnold Schwartzeneggar and California State Senator Leland Yee for creating and supporting this law.” Lee especially might appreciate such correspondence, as he, “in particular has come under attack from the videogame industry.”

Op-Ed Focuses on Retail Implications of Schwarzenegger Case

October 18, 2010 -

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) chief Michael Gallagher, along with Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) CEO James Hallan, took to the Lansing State Journal website for an opinion piece outlining the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court battle could impact retailers.

The piece states that the “misguided” California law—which contains “subjective and indefinite language” in relation to what would constitute an offensive game—is “particularly concerning for retailers,” because “the retail industry has already taken giant strides toward ensuring that violent videos do not end up in children's hands.”

According to the opinion piece, the “vague law” could be trouble for retailers because:

PTC Compares Game Industry Groups to Thugs

October 18, 2010 -

The Parents Television Council (PTC) has a short editorial up on its site in which the organization defends the California law at the heart of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, claiming that the videogame industry has “resorted to half-truths to try to make its point.”

As far as the law restricting First Amendment rights, the PTC says it “does no such thing,” but “merely prevents the most objectionable content from being sold directly to children.”

Do children also have a "right" to purchase cigarettes and alcohol? Of course not! If the law prevents children from directly purchasing other types of material that is inappropriate or harmful for them, why shouldn't parents be able to rest easy knowing their child won’t be able to buy ultra-violent games without their permission?

37 comments | Read more

California: “Three-Prong” Test Will Preserve Free Speech

October 18, 2010 -

The petitioner in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court Case is the state of California, and as such, it receives the opportunity to furnish the Court with a reply brief, in which it can argue against statements presented in the brief of the respondent.

California has done just this, submitting its reply brief (PDF, thanks PHX Corp!) in which it begins by stating that the respondents are off base in their attacks:

Respondents and their amici paint an alarming picture of government censorship of both classic and contemporary art and literature, ignoring the level of extreme violence depicted in the narrow category of video games that is actually covered by the Act.

A Sampling of the Controllers Headed Yee's Way

October 12, 2010 -

The Entertainment Software Association’s (ESA) Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) has posted the first batch of user submitted photos showing controllers submitted to California State Senator Leland Yee.

The VGVN, for those who missed it, is urging the gaming populace to show its distaste for the Yee-authored law, which, under the guise of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, will appear in front of the Supreme Court on November 2, by sending in controllers with the words “I Believe in the First Amendment” written on them.

 
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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
 

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