Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by Midnight

March 12, 2009 -

It's crunch time for HB353, the video game/movie bill under consideration by the Utah State Senate.

The measure must pass the Senate by midnight or it will die. HB353 will begin the day at #26 on the Senate's to-do list.

The bill was approved 70-2 last week by the Utah House.

GamePolitics will be updating the bill's status throughout the day, and you can check for yourself, too. Here's how:

 - at this link, click S2ND, the last entry under "Location." This will tell you where the bill is in line for Senate consideration.

 - check the Senate calendar for today's date. During the hours when the senators are in session, you can watch or listen, live. It's a very nice feature that we wish all legislative bodies offered. FYI, Utah is on Mountain Time.

HB353 has been especially hot over the last few days with the ESRB and bill sponsor Rep. Mike Morley trading rhetoric and the conservative Media Freedom Project calling on Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to opposed the measure.

For all of GP's HB353 coverage, click here.


Comments

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

Well, when i first checked a while ago, like noon i think, it was position 15, now it's position 12.

I don't think it's going to make it, which would be quite ironic, seeing as everyone  expected it to pass, but it's going to get killed by a time crunch (and not all the other things Thompson involved bills usually die of).

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

What if one of these bills do end up getting through and then Thompson and his ilk start to abuse it?

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

That's why we're happy it got amended that much.

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

It's more toothless now(I'm trying to find the senate version of the bill(which would ironically have to wait until the next session))

http://le.utah.gov/~2009/pamend/hb0353.sfa.03.htm

 

1.    Page 4a, Lines 114k through 114m
    House Floor Amendments
    3-3-2009 :
    

             114k          (B) the buyer intentionally misrepresented the buyer's age to the person at the time
             114l      good or service was provided.
    

  (ii) A person does not advertise that the person will not provide a good or service labeled with an age restriction or recommendation to a buyer subject to the age restriction or recommendation in accordance with the provisions of Subsection (1)(u)(i) if the person:

    (a) labels a good or service with information that informs consumers of the appropriate or recommended age for rental, purchasing, or otherwise viewing the good or service; or
    (b) if the information described in Subsection (2)(g)(ii)(a) appears in an advertisement informing the public about the availability of the good or service for rent, purchase, or viewing, including a promotional or marketing advertisement for audiovisual work.  

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

What that basically says is that just having a rating does not count as an actual advertisment. That kills one of John Bruce's arguments.

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

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

@EZK:

But even before Dayton's amendment, did the legislation ever make the age-restricting label and nothing more enough to satisy the "advertise" element? Didn't it take an advertisment that the seller "will not provide a good or service labeled with an age restriction or recommendation to a buyer subject to the age restriction or recommendation . . . ."  It'd take a pretty twisted intrepretive process to conclude that the above-quoted language could ever mean that the label alone is a sufficient advertisement. The critical requirement is that the seller advertises that they "will not provide" the good or service. The label alone can't reasonably satisfy the "will not provide" requirement. Dayton's amendment makes a good monkey wrench and, I'd imagine, for some happy folks over at the ESRB, but otherwise it strikes me as entirely superfluous.   

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

While the original language of the bill would not make such a claim, this is more of a clarification on the matter.

AS a matter of practicality, I have spoken to many people about ratings enforcment and the majority of those who are not familiar with the system seem to think that at least movie ratings are enforced by law and that it is illegal to sell an R rated movie to a minor.

Under a layman's interpretation of the situation, one could easily see someone thinking that just having a rating was a promise not to sell to a minor. This ammendment just makes sure that can never happen.

On the other hand, if a retailer were to participate in the Pledge to Parents Program from the EMA (http://www.entmerch.org/pledge_to_parents_program.html) and places signs in their store that they are participating, they would be liable under the law. Or if the store sends out a press release stating a company policy that states muc hthe same thing, that could be construed as an advertisment under this law.

Personally,  I am happy to see this ammendment clarify further what is and is not an advertisement. Contrary to what John Bruce says, the retailers support for the ESRB which they expressed to Congress does not count as an advertisment. They were just stating support and not making a declaration of policy.

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

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

@EZK:

But even if they were making a declaration of policy to Congress, I'm not all sure that such a declaration would qualify as an advertisement under the Utah Truth in Advertisement Act which requires that an advertisement contain a statement of some sort "made in connection with the solicitation of business." Can it be reasonably said that the retailers' statement to Congress was made in conection with the solicitation of business? I'd think not. Who were they soliciting? Congress? Even the Utah Act, with is broad definition of "advertising," implictly acknowledges that if the statement's maker isn't somehow trying to solict someone to buy their good or service when they make their statement, then it ain't advertising. If it ain't advertising, then it ain't coming nowhere near the Truth in Advertising Act.  

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

All, true. I was just stating that one of John Bruce's arguments hinges on that congressional statement being the doom of the retailers. His interpretation is that the testimony was an advertisment and they cannot retract that and are thus bound by this law.

Not that his interpretation of law is worth anything. he is a disbarred attorney.

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

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Long before his disbarment, the man had proved himself beyond dispute to be a complete idiot with less than a tenuous grasp -- if any grasp at all -- of legal matters. And that nonsense he keeps repeating about "they promised Congress to verify age and therefore they can't opt out of the promise or Congress will regulate them" only proves the point. While there is likely some truth to the assertion that the videogame industry did see voluntary self-regulation as a means of forestalling attempts by Congress to regulate the industry, the operative word is "attempts." Thompson more than anyone else should have realized by now that the passage of constitutionally sound legislation regulating videogames is much easier said than done -- what with having every attempt he's ever made shot down as unconstitutional. What does the idiot think? That a federal attempt at passing a law is somehow inherently more constitutional than a State's attempt at the same thing? Or that the industry won't drag Congress' law before a federal court with the same speed and determination with which they dragged the States before the courts?      

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

The problem I would note is that some people claimed it would. Having a big poster in your shop explaining the ratings would be taken by some as an advertizement that this rating will be enforced. And against those nutjobs, before you run into one as judge, you need this clarification, that merely informing people of the rating does not equal intent and promise to enforce it.

It's legalese. You need to explain the intent with the letter, or else the letter could be taken wrong.

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Even well-drafted legislation cannot begin to provide for all the incorrect intrepretations which the morons of the world will make of it. That's why, in the United States, legislatures only write the laws. It is for the courts to say what the law means. So, when the morons of the world start appearing before the court and arguing that the label alone is enough for them to proceed upon, it is for the court to intrepret the law as saying no such thing and to kick their dumb asses to the curb. 

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

True. It is the courts job to interpret law. But that does not mean that Legislatures should just toss out ambiguos or broad laws. It is the Legislatures job to write laws in such a way that it leaves little room for interpretation. The Judicial branch is there rule on those parts that are disputed. If the law is written in a way that leaves the meaning clear and without doubt, that makes the Judicial system's job that much easier.

Most legislative bill writers have leagal aids that they consult so as to avoid confusion when a bill gets signed into law. It would really bog down the legal system if all laws were written in a way that always required judicial interpretaion.

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

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Beautiful. ^_^ No longer a need to worry. I even think the movie theaters are in the clear, since they don't seem to advertize they will enforce the ratings, but merely enforce them and show the ratings in the ads.

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Either way, The senate bill passes, It'll have to go back to the house and By that time it'll be too late, Ding dong the bill is dead, but maybe introduced the next time around(But I highly doubt it)

 

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Not only that it has to re-pass the Senate as well whether the House balks at the change or not.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

Even if it passed its not gonna fly in court, just like all the other video game laws.

 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

It might be shot down, but certainly not for the same reasons the other video game laws were shot down. Because at its core, the letter of this law has nothing to do with video games. It is a false advertizing law amendment, aimed at punishing hypocrits. Unfortunately, those hypocrits don't exist in the real world, they're fighting windmills.

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

"It might be shot down, but certainly not for the same reasons the other video game laws were shot downIt might be shot down, but certainly not for the same reasons the other video game laws were shot down. Because at its core, the letter of this law has nothing to do with video games. It is a false advertizing law amendment, aimed at punishing hypocrits. Unfortunately, those hypocrits don't exist in the real world, they're fighting windmills."

And i agree with you on that, but either way it'll get shot down in court.

 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Well, let's just hope they can run down the clock on this thing.

Yes, I agree it's toothless and ineffectual, but the complaints from the likes of Patricia Vance and others I think are doing more harm than good, coming off as a combination of too little too late and Chicken Little running around going, "the sky is falling."  The worst that'll happen is Jack gets a little gold star and something to brag about.  Yes, he's threatened to draft similar laws in other states if this one goes through, but I doubt he'll be able to get away with it anywhere else.  As I've mentioned before, Utah was the only state socially conservative enough and the only place where he had political allies with any kind of muscle to push this through.

And even if it does, while the ESRB and ESA may not have the balls to challenge this in court or think it's worth fighting, expect the MPAA and the NATO (that's National Association of Theater Owners) to challenge this and win. 

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

Stop reminding them! o_o Maybe they'd forget if we don't talk about it...

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

I would be very surprised if anyone on the Utah senate (much less their government) even knows Gamepolitics exists, so I don't think we have to worry about us reminding them

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Lets face it. Itl pass.

But we all know its a toothless BS piece of legislation that does nothing but hamper efforts by retailers, whilst doing NOTHING to affect those people who will sell to anyone underage to make money. I mean hell.. if those bad apples want to sell to underage kids to make more cash.. err.. why would they bother 'advertising' the fact that they dont. They dont care, and wont advertsise as such.. so .. no problems for them WHATSOEVER. But those retailers who 'do' want to age restrict sales, have a guy with a gun stood behind them saying 'im here for your protection, dont worry ill only shoot you if one person out of the millions you serve each year makes it through with an innappropriate title... you should be welcoming my presence!"

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by ...

Accurate statement.

It does not matter how the Eagle Forum says it is, that verry point of putting good and honest retaliers to ransom if someone did happen to fall though the cracks is a scary thought.

Even a parent can lie about a game that they got for their kids only to realize it is an M17+ game and make a scene the next day and the whole legislation will be in the pits if it was found out that the store did inform the parent.

This is the reason why it should not pass,

Sadly the politicians don't care because they have to work it out by midnight.

And their attention span would not be the best.

For the love of god, get the ESRB and also the BIG 3 Videogame Companies involved and we will hopefully see some sort of real opposition even if it has to go to the court.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Crunch Time: Utah Senate Must Decide Video Game Bill by

And so it begins...

 
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