Last week, the Entertainment Software Association filed its year-end lobbying report with the federal government, and the gaming publisher trade group once again outspent its music and movie industry counterparts in attempting to influence government.
According to filings with the United States Senate Office of Public Records, the ESA spent more than $2.3 million on federal lobbying in 2006. The issues on which the ESA lobbied include antipiracy and fair-use laws, First Amendment rights, Internet privacy, Internet gambling, and trade policy reform. The ESA's federal lobbying expenditures have jumped each year since 2002, with the 2005 total coming in just over $2 million.
That outstrips the 2006 federal lobbying efforts of both the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The MPAA reported $1.8 million in lobbying on issues including communications, computer industry, copyrights, patents, trademarks, education, family issues, criminal justice, tax laws, and telecommunications.
The RIAA reported a total of $1.5 million in lobbying spending for the year. While the organization limited its efforts to the broader issue of copyrights, patents, and trademarks, it lobbied on a dozen specific pieces of legislation, including the Video Game Ratings Enforcement Act. An RIAA representative told GameSpot it joined the ESA on a letter expressing First Amendment concerns on that issue, noting that "copyright industries support each other on important issues like freedom of expression and copyright protection."
For more on the ESA's lobbying, check out GameSpot's recent examination of the trade group's efforts to influence the government.