Entertainment Software Association asks California for its $1.1 million back

Protecting the right to purchase violent games can be very expensive

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced that it filed in the United States Supreme Court a motion for reimbursement of $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees from the State of California. In other words, they won their case and now they'd like their money back, please.

The motion follows the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of ESA in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association/Entertainment Software Association (formerly titled as Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association), which we made into a list article. Last month, the Court ruled that a 2005 California law regulating the distribution of computer and video games was an unconstitutional decision. This smart decisionupheld the opinions of both lower courts that saw the case before it reached the Supreme Court.

Michael D. Gallagher, CEO of the ESA, hopes to convince the court that “from the start of this misguided legislation, then-Governor Schwarzenegger and specific California legislators knew that their efforts to censor and restrict expression were, as court after court ruled, unconstitutional and thus a waste of taxpayers’ money, government time, and state resources.” If he can do that, the ESA will get a significant chunk of change back from the man.

While the decision in favor of the ESA was clear with the court siding with them 7–2, it will be interesting to see if the court believes that California knew they were stepping over the bounds of the constitution before deciding to enact the law and proceed with the trial anyway, which it what the court will have to believe if it's going to award the full $1.1 million (!) to the ESA.

Jul 26, 2011

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