The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent $4.604 million on its lobbying efforts in 2009, a significant jump over 2008’s total of $3.654 million.
The group spent $1.208 million in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2009 and $980,000 in last year’s first quarter. 2008 saw $980,000 spent in quarters two, three and four, and $714,364.50 in its first quarter.
Taking a look at a report (PDF) on the ESA’s fourth quarter expenditures for 2009 shows lobbying funds spent on issues such as the Constitution (First Amendment Protection, Ratings, Video Game Sale Regulation), Copyright/Patent/Trademark (Anti-Piracy, IP Enforcement), Trade (Free Trade Agreements, Special 301 Designated Countries, Trade Policy Reform), Computer Industry (Internet Governance, Virtual Worlds), Immigration (High-Skilled Workers, H1-B Visas and Green Cards) and Telecommunications (ISP Management, Copyright Enforcement, Broadband Deployment).
Think the jump of almost one million dollars in year-over-year expenditures is excessive? Initially we did too, but in discussing the subject with an ESA spokesperson it was clarified that reported numbers include all expenses related to lobbying. So, as the economy continues to tread water and prices rise, the cost of doing business —travel, office supplies, rent, and employee benefits—grows as well.
Via Spong (Thanks Andrew!)