The Video Game Bar Association issued a statement Monday welcoming the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Brown v EMA. The Video Game Bar Association was formed in 2011 to provide a community for lawyers working in the video game industry to discuss issues of common interest to all lawyers around the world. It is the very first bar association dedicated to the industry and draws members from around the world.
"The Court’s decision reaffirms that it is parents who can best decide what is appropriate content for their children," said David S. Rosenbaum, president of the VGBA. He added that the Supreme Court ruling "puts to rest the notion that video games are entitled to less First Amendment protection than books, newspapers, films and music and other entertainment speech."
"The Court took note that the California statute was passed in spite of numerous precedents from around the nation's federal courts, holding similarly drafted statutes (seeking to make violence obscene) unconstitutional," added Rosenbaum. "Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars have been awarded in payment of legal fees in these cases, leading up to today’s decision. With the Court’s ruling today, we hope that we have seen the last of these regulatory exercises."
"We are gratified that the Court took note of the demonstrable success of the ESRB system and that the industry continues to get the highest marks of compliance by a media industry segment (over films-TV and music) in the annual FTC undercover shopper survey," said George Rose, a member of the VGBA Board.
Patrick Sweeney, Executive Vice President of the VGBA said that future video game legislation must now pass "the strict scrutiny" test: "the Court lays bare the notion that the states are better equipped to evaluate content than the independent ratings board established by the industry to provide information to parents so that they can best determine what is appropriate content for their children.”