BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

June 24, 2008 -

Moments ago the New York State Senate voted 61-1 to approve a bill proposed by Sen. Andrew Lanza, a Republican from Staten Island.

Sen. Lanza is seen arguing for passage in the photo at left. Sen. Thomas Duane (D) of New York City cast the lone dissenting vote.

The video game bill mirrors that passed yesterday by the State Assembly, a Lanza staffer told GamePolitics that the measure will now go to Gov. David Paterson for consideration. If Paterson signs the bill, it will become law in 2010.

Prior to that, however, the video game industry is likely to sue, arguing that the measure is unconstitutional.

UPDATE: We've got an mp3 of Sen. Lanza's final three minutes of argument in favor of the bill. Here's an excerpt:

If you look closely at this bill, [concerns expressed by Sen. Duane] are not valid. Let's start with speech. There's all kinds of speech. If we take an old-fashioned pinball machine and plunked it down here in the middle of the chamber, no one would call it speech. But when we put that up on a video screen, it does become speech and I acknowledge that. And it deserves protection under the Constitution... There is some confusion with respect to what this bill actually accomplishes... The word prohibition was talked about. I want to be clear. This bill does not prohibit the sale of any video to anyone...

 

This simply says that every video game sold in the state of New York simply should have a rating consistent with what the ESRB does presently in a voluntary way... it does work. But the problem with "voluntary" is that tomorrow someone can change their mind. Someone could decide tomorrow to no longer place ratings on these games. So this is not about prohibiting the sale, this is simply about providing information to parents...

 

Last year's version... that included a provision that would have made it an E-felony to sell these games, we all thought it was wrong. And we took that out. We worked with the [video game] industry. We worked with the Assembly and we do have an agreement here on a piece of legislation that I think will go a long way in allowing parents to make good decisions in regard to what is and what isn't appropriate for their chidlren...

 


Comments

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

It about time they made pong, tetris, pacman and other ancient games illegal!!!

Those damn things have been destoying america for ages.

I am also glad that GTA and Manhunt are not affected by this law as those are good wholesome games for the whole family.

 

Glad that I moved from New York now that they will be raising taxes or not fixing roads...

I would want these retarded politicians voted out of office but they would only be replaced by equally bad ones...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

I just can't believe it was passed in NY its such bull

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

This is excellent news for the videogame industry's attorneys, more work (and easy money) coming their way! Another state where politicians can't be bothered with that silly Constitution thing or Bill of Rights. Can't say I'm surprised though, I mean who would be surprised to learn that New York is run by a bunch of idiots? Of course once this is shot down they'll all be shocked about it.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Some of you are so f'ing wound up that its just embarrassing. I'm a huge gamer myself, but ill never understand why soo many gamers, get so f'ing bent outta shape the minute someone brings up their beloved past time. I mean gamers are the most insecure individuals out there, by a LONG, LONG shot.  By reading these comments you would think that this bill will stop your favorite games from hitting store shelves or that Big Brother will come into your home and snatch your precious little video games. Jesus Christ guys, get a grip and loosen the f**k up! NO one is gonna take your video games from you. You still will be able to play GTA V and GTA VI and GTA VII and so on... This bill, as COMPLETELY POINTLESS as it is, will do nothing more than assure you that there is a rating on the box, which if i can remember, there has ALWAYS been a rating on the box. This is such a pointless bill that it barely deserves a mention, but some of you gamers see Senate and Video Game in the same sentence and you decide to light your Marcus Fenix underoos on fire and run around your house screaming like a f'ing maniac stating that the Govt is hear to take your games. Next time you see those words together, do the industry a favor, slow down, breath, pull your underwear out from the crack of your ass and read. Know what it is that you're about to go ape shit over before you actually go ape shit...now that iv got that out of my system, its back to Metal Gear Solid 4(which by the way is the greatest thing to hit consoles...ever)

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

To me this isn't issue isn't solely about video games but about Freedom of Speech in general and keeping the government out of deciding what media we can or can't watch, play, read or listen to. I'm a firm believer that the government should stay the hell out of the free speech regulation/censorship business and that they shouldn't be able to decide for anyone whether they are adults or minors, what they can or can't watch,play, read, or listen to. If you find something offensive, then don't watch, play, read or listen to it. If you find a form of free speech media inappropriate or unsuitable for your children then it is your responsibility as a parent, not the nanny-state, to make sure your kids aren't exposed to it regardless of whether it's the GTA games, Scarface movie, 50 cent CD, The Holy Bible, Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species or Harry Potter novels.

While this law isn't restricting or censoring the access to Video games it is a slippery slope in that direction as well as an all out waste of taxpayer's money for an issue that has no proven harmful effects (over 50 years of research has found nothing more then extremely weak, inconsistant, incredibly flawed and biased links between violent media and harmful effects) and is solely meant to make the politicans look like they are doing something useful when it really isn't useful at all and there are more, much more pressing concerns to deal with.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

I can make it out.

Essentialy he's trying to say we're getting our knickers in a twist for nothing and this is no threat to gaming.

Well, 47, this indavidual law is no threat to gaming. I agree there. This is not however the issue. The issue is this law in being a needless and meaningless law is wasting time and money better spent elsewhere on bigger better issues.

But, the even bigger issue is letting this law go unchecked opens the door for more and more laws to be seen as ok. It could eventualy lead to something as drastic as forcing the ESRB to watch every moment of gameplay in every game before it hits the shelves. Which sounds at first like a really good idea to judge the content of the game.

But consider an MMO like WoW? How long would it take you to see everything in azeroth, play as every class, play as every race, hit every unique quest and go through all the possible items. Even with a big team of guys reviewing it this could take a few months to do, delaying the game's release and the programmers getting paid.

The point isn't that this law in and of itself will destroy gaming 47, it's what it could lead to which could.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Much like the communism domino effect back in the 50s, it's a scary but true idea when it comes to the realm of legislation.

You give a mouse a cookie...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Exactly my point.  Conversely though, I would fully support a bill that suggested fines for game stores caught selling M and Ao titles to underaged folk. Granted it wouldn't slow down the ones that have "mommy" buy it for them but hey it might help a little maybe.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1


You seem to forgot the damage the comics code did to the comics industry, the trouble with sub media specific censorship is it guts creativity and and waters down mature themes, the current environment is so bad Fallout 3 can not have child death in it becsue the ESRB has been labeling it AO lately because of the rampant content fear thats running through the industry.
Hell look at Turok theres a perfect example of fck up censorship and censorship nazis have not even gone into full effect, once you have censorship from the top down things will only get worse and worse, so yes we complain every time they do it because if we do not no one will.

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Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

<47 casts 'Wall 'o Text'!  It's super affective!>

Seriously...I got about three lines in before I kept losing my place.  From what I can read it's a guy QQing about QQing.  Can anyone make out what's being said in a legible manner?

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

NYGamers.net Offical Response

It is time we put parents back incharge of parenting. With parental controls now becoming a standard on consoles and the PC we should put them back in charge of raising their kids. Any politician that feels they can force their will on our children will not have our votes in November. If that means abstaining for the vote so beit. You need to learn your place and that place is not in our homes!

Let the parents parent ... how about you do something about astronomical gas prices that turn into record profits or better yet stop the mass exodus of good jobs instead. NY needs your help ... just not with the little stuff.

SteelValor, Founder
The New York Online Gamers Network

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

"Let the parents parent"
In current political times
Let the parents parent=let them eat cake
thats how fcked up thins are.

 

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I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
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Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

On the plus side, I moved to Massachusetts a few years ago.

On the minus side...Mass is also considering a stupid bill.

 

ESA lawsuit in 3...2...1...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

can someone explain why JT does this/////////////// with the slashes////

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

*sigh* People have already explained this several times...

Jacky boy currently is accessing the site from a proxy server since he's IP banned from the site. Proxy servers screw with formats in some way that i don't fully understand nor do i WANT to, but regardless, with THIS site's format, it inserts backslashes whenever it enters quotation marks or something.

In any case, he's circumventing an IP ban and Dennis is allowing the posts in one at a time anyway. He's still acting like a child who got his favorite toy stuffed in his parent's closet, but he sneaks into it to play with it anyway.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

What? They want to pass a ratings law because they think the ESRB could just up and quit at any minute? Nevermind the main developers wouldn't let any unrated games pass through on their consoles, and no retailers would carry an unrated game anyway. Did he even bother to find out how any of this works?

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

-ehm-

Isn't the ESRB raring clearly marked on the box ? in the first place? Both on the front and on the back of the box?

This seems like a pleonasm to me, meaning that it does something that's already there, i.e. the ratings on the back of the box for video games. I was also amazed and in :shock: when I read the Lanza's statement about 'that tomorrow someone can change their mind' as if the video game industry should suddenly decide to not rate video games anymore.  I don't think it is going to happen...

The whole argument seems to go ind circles anyway. I mean, it could go like this: In order for video games to be reviewed we need a mandatody decision that in the state of N.Y. there must be statue saying that all videogames sold in this state need the voluntary rating of the ESRB clearly marked on them so that the mandatory rating (which should be similar to those of the ESRB's) can be shown'.

I'm sorry, but it does NOT compute...especially since, as have been said, most major retailers won't carry or sell games that haven't rated by the ESRB...

There's something wrong when politicians try to pass bills & laws where the civil society already outshines these laws as I do think that both the ESRB and PEGI ratings do. Maybe Lanza should haven spoken to Andrew Bub, the gamerdad, first?? Or have read his excellent guide to videogames, published by the ESRB and the PETA.

Even us gamers do think that M-rated games (or 18+ games rated by the PEGI in Europe) should not be played by 10 or 12 year olds. But if a dad or mom says 'it is OK' for their kids to play M-rated games, I am here to judge these parents as bad parents. And neither should anyone be.

 

 

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Of the 150 seats in the Assembly, 104 are Democrats, 42 are Republicans, 1 member belongs to the Independence Party, 1 member belongs to the Working Families Party. The Senate is composed of 32 Republicans and 30 Democrats.

Nevermind

Gosh damn Reublicans!

Reagen would be sick if he was still alive.

Re: Nevermind

How many democracts are in the NY legislature?

Re: Nevermind

Reagen was a meat puppet just like Bush, only he had beter writers and was use to acting as people smarter than him.

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I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/
(in need of a bad overhaul)

Re: Nevermind

Reagen was no puppet,and I resent that statement.

If anyone is a puppet,it's Obama.

Re: Nevermind

LULZ

Obama has more brains than bush and and regan put togather, you can see it in the way he double talks ^_~

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Re: Nevermind

Ron was Nancy's puppet, and Nancy was her astrologer's puppet.

Re: Nevermind

And How! RINOs FTL

I need help!

Fellow angry gamers!Who do I blame!?!?Liberals or Conservatives!?!?!?!?!??!?

Or is it just Liberals?Or maybe a load of Republicans?WHO DO I BLAME?!?!?!?!?!?

Re: I need help!

I blame the people who don't do their research.  Being Liberal or Conservative doesn't make you less stupid when you start writing bills about things you know nothing about.

Re: I need help!

Liberals. The New England states tend towards liberalism. The governor of New York certainly does.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Remember to hold your hands in the air and scream as we all slide down the slippery slope.

Once the ratings are no longer voluntary, then they will say that it should be a government board that determines the rating. Then there will be a kerfluffle about some game that a senator doesn't feel got rated high enough, and the rating will be even stricter. Then they will determine that they need to rerate some of the older games that went through under the old regime to make sure the standards are current. Then a ton of M rated games will be rerated as AO and get pulled off the shelf.

The only thing we can hope for is that it takes so long for this to happen that gamers start to get elected to congress.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

"a piece of legislation that I think will go a long way in allowing parents to make good decisions in regard to what is and what isn't appropriate for their chidlren"

I didn't know legislation was required in order to allow parents to be good parents.

 

-Mike out.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Dumbing down America one parental responsibility at a time.

The same could also be said for free thought but eh, that opens a can of worms i'm not willing to defend

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Feel good save the children video game bill.
$40,000

Legal Fee's defending it in court.
$1,200,000

Creating Jobs for 16 cronies and yes men.
Priceless.

 

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

HAHAH hilarious if it wasnt such a waste of money!

SO they want ratings on all games. Even though i havent seen a game without a rating in over 10 years...

and parental controls on all new consoles... that all have parental controls already...

 

ok... whats the point of this again?

 

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

@Novablack

To piss tons of money down the drain?Just a guess.

Voluntary is how it works right

I don't have time to read the responses, but I wanted to point this out.  The Senator got it backwards.  Being "voluntary" is how it's been so successful.  The ESRB is a private organization, free of government influence (mostly).  The government isn't the ones saying what is age appropriate on the back of the box.  BUT, if you make it a law that it must be there, then what happens if the ESRB decides to shut down their doors?  It's their right as an organization to just go, "I quit."  Pass a law that it must exist, however, then you must either fund it (and thus open the door to "stipulating" how the money is spent and vying for governmental oversight of the ratings), or you must replace it (and thus create a government run ratings system that essentially controls the pulse of the gaming industry).

This REALY needs to be struck down.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

And the gears of solyent green grind and churn for another bill has been served to the witless masses....and they cheer for they feel protected while eating their own...
Ah government...its whats for dinner....

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Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

I see this as being a waste of tax payer money and senatorial time... but I really don't see where a problem is here. Yeah, most of the things are already in place; ratings, parental controls (The PS2 had parental controls, in case anyone forgot.), etc., but nothing is being infringed here! No gamer's rights are being cramped on, it's really just an official movement on psuedo-official policies. And I don't really find it much of a pain to take my wallet out and flash my ID to buy a game.

Now, the ridiculous simplification of video games as a legitimate media form is offensive. I don't see how--in cases like MGS4 and GTA4--practically interactive cinema experiences can be compared to a pinball machine.

If you ask me, he doesn't even need to bring up the point of infringement of any constitutional rights because these measures really don't touch on the first amendment! No one is being censored, no one is having their product restricted. That said, if it does end up that whatever measures instituted would unfairly throw the AO-rating (AO Ranting below) on your average M-rated game

In agreement to him, though, I do feel we need to take better care of kids, and have more teacher/parent relations in schools... What the hell ever happened to the PTA, anyway?

And my AO Rant. I'm sure it's been thrown around, but the parent companies of Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Gamestop, etc, really need to pull that stick out of their arses on AO games. Here's a thought: Carry them. And check an ID at the register. It's an inconceivable concept, apparently; one that has been used by the seediest of seedy adult film stores of the universe.

Maybe I'm one of the few gamers who doesn't mind pulling her ID out to buy a game, maybe I just don't think kids should get to watch the hooker or stripshow scenes in GTA--however entertaining I might find them, but I'm an adult who's more or less numb to the concept and acts of them.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Its not so much the retailers its the family/mass market focus that makes the console makers say we need no AO, so we ban it.

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Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

The reason people are so pissed off is because of concerns for indy developers and that this is compelled speech. Then of ourse there's the "slippery slope" arguement (which sucks ASS!!!!). People are worried that this is the first step towards a nanny state.

 

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

First step?

Take a look at the flannel skirts the officials in power are wearing honey we are in a nanny state, we are just lucky they have yet to run out of drink and pills, once thats gone they'll be bullying us because they have nothing else to do.

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Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

 Geez...who is voted for these idiots to vote on our rights? Why does ANYTHING video game related seem to be an issue more than actual serious stuff? Wow...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

thats the price of government when it starts involving itself in the daily lives of the people.

 

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Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

I wonder what the New Yorkers are thinking now?

"Oh dang another politician after videogames...now wheres the ESA and their subpoena? Oh wait there it is!! Oh dang...goodbye tax dollars "

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

So, pinball on a screen is "speech" now, huh?

Intiuging.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

So you are arguing that media(TV,radio,music,film,games) is not a form speech?

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Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

@ Adrian Lopez:
I was going on the senator's words with what I just said. Probably a bit out of place in regards to the ratings "requirement".

Still, I think we can all agree that most of that legislation is pointless. The current system works perfectly fine. Hell, the ESRB rating system works better at point-of-sale than the MPAA system!

These politicians are blind.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Oh, so if tomorrow the publishers all decide to stuff the ESRB system and release their games without ratings...

Hold on a second. Isn't that already happening with movies today? When was that precedent discussed during this debate?

And another thing I hadn't thought of when I commented on the earlier story today: New York state has absolutely no authority to dictate that consoles - manufactured by international companies not based in New York - have parental controls on them. Neither can they give a voluntary rating system force of law by requiring it to exist.

If they want to form that 16-person panel, fine. Just leave the BS at the door.

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

Does anybody have the text of this bill? I've looked at the text for A11717 referenced in the previous story and it says:

       S  612.  Sale and rental of VIDEO GAMES AND films. 1. No person, part-
     nership or corporation shall sell or rent at retail or attempt  to  sell
     or  rent at retail a VIDEO GAME OR film unless {the} A VIDEO GAME rating
     {of} OR the RATING OF THE motion picture from which {it}  THE  FILM  was
     copied  is clearly displayed on the outside of the case, jacket or other
     cover of the VIDEO GAME OR film.
       2. This section shall not apply to a "mail order business" as  defined
     in  section  three  hundred  ninety-six-m of this chapter or to any film
     which is a reproduction of a motion picture, concert, musical production
     or other video event, OR ANY VIDEO GAME, which  has  not  been  given  a
rating, nor shall it apply to any motion picture OR VIDEO GAME which has
been altered subsequent to receiving a rating
.

It would appear the requirement is not that all games be rated by the ESRB, but rather that games which have been rated must display the rating on the outside of the game's box. Although I still believe such a provision should be struck down on the grounds that it's compelled speech, it's not as bad as if all games were required to carry an ESRB rating.

What bugs me about this bill, apart from the fact that it appears entirely useless in light of current practice, is my feeling that console manufacturers should not be required by law to include technological measures against constitutionally-protected content, and that video game publishers should be allowed to sell previously rated games as unrated. We're not talking food labeling here; we're talking about labeling speech. Can you imagine if comic books that once carried the Comics Code seal were required forever to carry that seal? I think it would be deemed... unconstitutional.

Pointless

Wow. Now it seems even more redundant.

-If shit and bricks were candy and tits, we'd all be livin' large. For information on games and psychology, look up: Jonathan Freedman(2002)Block and Crain(2007)Grand Theft Childhood, a book by Harvard Medical School researchers Larry Kutner and Cheryl Olson

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: BREAKING - NY Senate Passes Video Game Bill 61-1

So... what? If the ESRB shuts down, what then? Does New York foot the entire bill for the ESRB's continual existance should they ESA go bye bye? Or do they blacklist games from then on out? Will it only be legal to sell import games with PEGI rattings? (Or whichever ratings you wouldget with your imported media?) Maybe the nation of orgin will have to rate the games, so we have ratings from PEGI and BBFC games next to the CERO rated games(without local input) and all US game publishers are banned from selling in the state?

Have you killed off all indepentant publishing for the computer? Can I no longer peddle freeware and shareware from a kiosk or dedicated computer store? (Sure they died out a while ago but that is not the point.)

And what is this "consistent with what the ESRB does presently in a voluntary way"? Does that mean if they refuse to rate something you will compell them to? If someone self-rates a game or another rating board pops up, they are bound by this law to sticker games the same age groups as the ESRB?

Or is this to say that the 16 member panel will give NY-GameRating stickers, and as long as the ESRB is around, they will rubber stamp the same rating? Since New York should have it's own rating consistant with the ESRB. Man so many ways to take his speech and come out with bad scenarios...

 
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E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
PHX Corphttp://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/801575-sony-refuses-offer-refund-playstation-game-fraudulently-purchased-hacker Sony Refuses to Offer Refund for PlayStation Game Fraudulently Purchased by Hacker12/18/2014 - 1:43pm
 

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