Game industry group wants over $1 million in legal fees in California case

A decision last May by the US Supreme Court that a California video game related law was unconstitutional was a big legal win for the PC and console game industry. However, the legal fight isn't quite over year. Today, the US video game trade group Entertainment Software Association has announced via a press release that it has filed a motion with the US Supreme Court to get the state government of California to pay back the $1.1 million dollars that the game industry has spent in attorney's fees fighting the law in court.

In making its case to get back its legal fees, the ESA put the blame on the California state government for continuing to defend a law that it had been told could not pass muster in courts. It stated, "California persisted in defending a law that Plaintiffs warned the Legislature was unconstitutional before it was passed; that was previously found to be unconstitutional by the district court and a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit; and that is similar to at least eight other laws invalidated as unconstitutional prior to the time that California sought certiorari in this case." California has yet to comment on the ESA's motion.

California's law, signed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2005, made the sale of certain games with violent content illegal to minors and would have fined retailers if they sold such games to kids. After several years of court battles, the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in the game industry's favor back in May, with the majority of the US Supreme Court justices ruling that California's law was unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment rights to free speech.

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6 Comments

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Personally I don't understand the opposition to the law in question. It's illegal to sell age rated products here in the UK to anybody under that age, and I think that's sensible. Do you really want your kids being exposed to hardcore violence/sex at such and early impressionable age? Especially when all of these games have you acting out these violent acts yourself?

A million bucks is a lot on the tax payers. At the same time, government can't make unconstitutional laws and then play legal chicken with the people and companies those laws affect. Win or lose, fightings these battles in court is extremely expensive.

Shadrack said,
A million bucks is a lot on the tax payers. At the same time, government can't make unconstitutional laws and then play legal chicken with the people and companies those laws affect. Win or lose, fightings these battles in court is extremely expensive.

Well as they say, the only real winners in legal action are the lawyers.