Following yesterday's ruling which found Louisiana's HB 1381 anti-violent game law unconstitutional, the video game industry's trade body, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has announced that it plans to “immediately file to recover its legal fees from the State as it has successfully done elsewhere.”
According to a statement issued by the ESA, “What makes Judge Brady's action unusual and remarkable is that he issued his ruling from the bench rather than through a written decision, a strong signal that he felt the State's arguments were so without merit that they didn't even require a detailed opinion beyond the Judge's August decision imposing the preliminary injunction.”
The news echoes similar events that surrounded the so-called Safe Games Illinois Act, which was halted in December 2005, and then permanently grounded earlier this week. The ESA, along with the Video Software Dealers Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association also sought attorney's fees and interest totaling $518,328.64 following the permanent injunction against that bill, money that as of yet remains unpaid.
"In nine out of nine cases, federal courts have struck down these grandstanding efforts by politicians to ban video game sales to minors. It doesn't get clearer than that," commented ESA president Douglas Lowenstein.
He added, "One hopes that enough is enough. Video games are like rock and roll: they're here to stay, and it's about time for elected officials to focus their energies, and taxpayer dollars, on truly productive and useful programs to educate parents to use the tools industry has made available -- from ESRB ratings to parental control technologies."