ESA sues Chicago Transit Authority for banning M-rated game ads
Here's another lawsuit to help fill your weekly quota of legal drama. This one was filed by the Entertainment Software Association against the Chicago Transit Authority for its 2009 ordinance that prohibits M and AO-rated video game ads from all its vehicles and facilities, citing that the ordinance is a clear violation of the entertainment software community's constitutional rights.
Mike Gallagher of the ESA issues this press release:
The CTA s ordinance constitutes a clear violation of the constitutional rights of the entertainment software industry. Courts across the United States, including those in the CTA s own backyard, have ruled consistently that video games are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as other forms of entertainment. The CTA appears unwilling to recognize this established fact, and has shown a remarkable ignorance of the dynamism, creativity and expressive nature of computer and video games. The ESA will not sit idly by when the creative freedoms of our industry are threatened.
But wait, there's more:
The ESA s suit contends this new ordinance unconstitutionally restricts speech in a public forum that is otherwise open to all speakers without a compelling interest for doing so. In addition, the Complaint argues that the ordinance impermissibly discriminates on the basis of viewpoint and ignores less restrictive means of achieving the supposed ends of the ordinance.
The ESA also stated that the CTA s ordinance is unnecessary because game-related marketing is already subject to the Entertainment Software Rating Board s Advertising Review Council (ARC), which strictly regulates computer and video game advertisements that are seen by the general public. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) assigns content ratings to computer and video games, which, in turn, are displayed on the advertisements for those games.
Back in 2008, the CTA ordered that all Grand Theft Auto 4 (Xbox 360, PS3) ads be taken down in light of the shootings in Chicago at the time. Take-Two Interactive responds with a lawsuit, until both parties settled the case later that year, where Take-Two got two weeks to advertise the game. The CTA, however, passed a new ordinance to prevent another M or AO-rated game from appearing on their properties, hence today's ESA lawsuit.
Yet more lawsuits:
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