ESA's 2006 lobbying tops movie, music groups

Game industry trade organization spent more trying to influence US government than MPAA or RIAA.

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.

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Discussion

29 comments
Max_Hydrogen
Max_Hydrogen

Just goes to show the prejudice still faced by the game industry. And also, isn't it nice that democracy can be bought?

theKSMM
theKSMM

They may have outspent the other two organizations, but the ESA still doesn't have the pull of the MPAA or RIAA in Washington. This may be a case where the real power deals are made off the books...

GrgSpunk
GrgSpunk

Hey MPAA! Hey RIAA! Take a good loooooong look at the ESA and learn. If you do the same thing as the ESA, then MAYBE, just MAYBE, you wouldn't be pushed around by those bastards from the FCC!!!

Kfoss
Kfoss

GO ESA! KICK SOME ASS!

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Wow this is ridiculous. All this money could be put toward better things. But some people want to suppress our freedoms. We should be aloud to listen to what music we want, watch what movies we want, and play what we games we want to play. Even if someone else doesn't like it. If you don't like it don't play it. It's not that hard to understand.

gmax
gmax

Heh... As always, the best government money can buy... Anyway, very interesting, but not necessarily good news... Wondering why game prices are inflating as they are? Now you know part of the reason why... All that money comes from somewhere - namely - you...

Irve
Irve

if only they knew to support Rating Enforcement. Then Games would be better respected and less contriverisal ....all because they don't want to lose sales of Scarface / manhunt to 12 yr olds

carpepoon
carpepoon

I am happy to see this, but it is unfortunate that the gaming industry has to spend this much $ just to have a voice on capital hill.

Dbzhbk0073
Dbzhbk0073

I bet it would be alot lower if politicians would realize they are trying to break the constituion by trying to ban MY freedom of speech and expression, video games. doesnt matter ESA will stop them at every turn WAY TO GO ESA

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

comthitnuong, lobbying is paying to have your perspective represented on capitol hill, it's too bad that only the rich can be repressented in this 'system'.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

This makes tons of sense considering the game industry is much younger than either of those.

axia_777
axia_777

This is a very very good thing. While the RIAA and the MPAA are trying to screw the customers that try to buy their goods, the ESA is protecting us and our games from manipulative politicians. Good job ESA!!!

slinker41
slinker41

like Tony would have said - "They're GRRRRREAT!"

John_of_Fire
John_of_Fire

Keeping games in the hands of gamers. Good job.

lafigueroa
lafigueroa

That's why it pays to be king (or in this case, a member of Congress)

macacd
macacd

an interesting read!

UnknownPerson55
UnknownPerson55

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UnknownPerson55
UnknownPerson55

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

greks224
greks224

2.3 million. . . that's a lot of money for lobbying. and 2nd