Louisiana to pay $145,000 in fight over game law

Judge rules for industry trade groups, criticizes elected officials who approved unconstitutional legislation.

by

In November, US District Court Judge James Brady ruled the state's law prohibiting the distribution of violent games to minors was unconstitutional. Having secured their latest victory in court, the Entertainment Software Association and the Entertainment Merchants Association went about the process of having their court costs reimbursed by the state, as they have after emerging victorious in previous legal battles.

The trade groups were requesting more than $145,000 in attorney's fees and costs, and as reported by GamePolitics, Judge Brady last week granted that request, in part. Instead of the full amount sought, the judge awarded the trade groups' law firms almost $92,000.

Within the ruling, Judge Brady also said he was "dumbfounded" that the state was in the position of having to shell out taxpayer money over this, noting that the law had to pass through legal review at every step. Given that similar statutes were declared unconstitutional in a number of jurisdictions, "the Court wonders why nobody objected to the enactment of this statute. In this court's view, the taxpayers deserve more from their elected officials."

This is not the first time the game industry has collected on attorney's fees after successfully fighting game-related legislation. After an attempted game restriction law in Illinois was overturned in 2005, Illinois was ordered to reimburse the industry for more than $500,000 in attorneys' fees.

Discussion

155 comments
PacoL250
PacoL250

I can't believe I forgot that Jack Thompson was the person who had the idea for this law. It's even better that it got canned. :D @Darth_A-skicker: Like PixyMisao said, he's losing just about every legal battle he can bring up. While he may not get reprimanded by the courts as much as we'd like, I think he almost got disbarred in the past for his antics, so we can't lose hope yet. I don't like to see harm done to somebody's way of life, but Jack Thompson just brings it upon himself and he'll eventually fade into obscurity. @raptor2423: I'll admit that I didn't vote for either party in the last election. Honestly, if we feel that both parties are "evil" then we as people still have the power. Send 'em a message and vote for some other party. I have in the past and I will continue to do so (although I didn't vote for Bush in 2000; I couldn't vote and I felt that Gore actually might have done fine...but that was years ago so no matter). Oh and did Jack Thompson actually use the VT shooting(s) to stump his case?? You have to be joking...seriously, WHAT is wrong with him? The killer had serious socio-psychological/bio-psychological issues that is above and beyond anything related to video games, TV, and entertainment in general. So how the heck can he not have some decency and just shut up for once? I can't wait for the day Jack Thompson gets sued for multiple cases of libel and such (and he's sure bordering on it).

raptor2423
raptor2423

I will admit I did vote for George W. Bush only because he was the lesser of 2 evils (at the time). If I remember correctly Bush has some kind of plan that he at least tried to explain. Kerry's only line was "I have a plan" but never elaborated on it. We all new that Bush was bad at the time, but Kerry seemed like he changed his opinion every time he spoke. He didnt stand behind his views, so how can we trust what he said to be true. I only mentioned Bush, because, unfortunately we here in Louisiana gets the same BS candidates every time. So only thing we can do is choose the lesser evil (except New Orleans - still cant believe that one). On a side note Jack Thompson needs to at least show some respect for the victims in Virginia. Even before anything was known about the shooter, he started on his campaign saying video games were the reason why this murder did what he did. Other people (even politicians) morned and he spouted out his views. He is the lowest of the low.

PixyMisao
PixyMisao

Not really Darth, he is losing at every step. But you're right in that we should not give up the fighting until he is (and other mentally challenged like him are) disbarred.

Darth_A-skicker
Darth_A-skicker

Those who think that this will put an end to Jack Thompson don't understand the man, he's already almost got disbarred when he lied while making accusations against a prominant Dade county lawyer, and all he got was a $3,000 fine. The man can really do whatever he wants.

mixhawkeye
mixhawkeye

man...this article is of interesting value and im glad I read it. THANKS AGAIN GAMESPOT YOU'RE THE BEST YYYEEEEEEEEEHHHHHAAAAWWWWW!

RonHack
RonHack

I have to agree with Acervartan. I knew Bush was bad news the minute, during his 2000 stump, he said he was going to run the government "like a business". And this was BEFORE I knew about his "business successes" (i.e., none)! I had my share of bad managers that I worked under, so Bush was dead right there, as far as I was concerned. D

TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

Well it depends Raptor. If the general population choses to believe the lies fed to them, say by the Democrats, then yes, they are. Afterall, a Presidential hopeful has been one of the strongest supporters of Jack Thompson and his antics. I trust little of the two main parties in this country. To be honest, I view them as the same branded b.s, just a different color to stain your hands. The irony of it? The very same people that slam Bush on a daily basis, would immediately start hooting and hollering the instant the non-Republican individual they voted for did something they don't like. e.g. what the state of Louisiana tried to do. But, that is a different topic. On a lighter note, I wonder how Jackie-boy Thompson took this news.

Acervartan
Acervartan

Umm, yes raptor, it does. There is nothing we know about Bush now we didnt know before hand. As for this article, politicians are incompetant by nature and they are in one of the few careers were you need zero qualifications.

raptor2423
raptor2423

My apologies, this is what i meant to say. (Didnt read over and SC) So in other words, since the general population disapproval of George W. Bush is lower that it was even when he was elected does that make the United States voters stupid?

raptor2423
raptor2423

So in other words, since the general population disapproval of George W. Bush is lower that it was even he was elected does that make the United States votes stupid?

TheKokopelli
TheKokopelli

I find it difficult to hold much sympathy for the taxpayers of Louisiana. After all, their stupidity elected these fools into office. However, regardless of their intelligence, they are the ones that get to foot the bill for Mommy Government overstepping her boundaries. The media wh**r, Jack Thompson, he will not be chipping in any of his funds towards this penalty. Neither will any of the fat, pompous, gasbags that signed this bill. This is another reason why the people need to wise up, and pay attention to what the Imperious Government is doing. Or, they can return to watching the American Idol finalists…

raptor2423
raptor2423

I DONT CARE FOR THAT BACKWATER STATEMENT ZINKEBOY. Dont categorize the mistakes of a flew for the entire population of a state. I dont defend the politicians and their stupidity. To me and others, they are trying to place the blame for the problems we are having on a medium they have little to no knowledge in but is an easy target the older generation can stand behind. Sure politicians are elected by the people, but once elected most follow their own agenda, not just here but everywhere - especially capital hill. But that is no reason to call any group of people stupid, uncultured or BACKWATER.

NYJets12
NYJets12

Its parents jobs to restrict what kids play . Not the goverment . The goverment shouldn't be wasting there time and the taxpayers money on this junk.

RonHack
RonHack

Hey, you can't expect our elected officials to try to solve REAL problems (economic slump, no health insurance for many, jobs hard to get, etc.). Nope, far better to make up problems that they can (HAH!) fix, like gay marriage, flag burning..... and video games in the hands of minors. Weasel, thy name is politician.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I understand that everybody here loves videogames and will defend them vehemently, but I really hate seeing gamers discussing political issues that they clearly don't understand.

ronniemoisture
ronniemoisture

It is solely up to PARENTS to keep these kids from violent games. The Gov. always blames the studios start blaming the damn parents. Im glad they got reimbursed.

racerx737
racerx737

maybe this'll show JT how wrong he is ... maybe ... but I'm not holding my breath. When will they realize that they cant censor video games any more than they can censor movies or TV or books. Limits are fine, like the movies and games rating systems, we do have those for a reason, maybe if the lawmakers are gonna crack down on violent games they should focus on making the rating system that we have work more effectively instead of trying to censor everything they dont like. Or, if they dont, hopefully the taxpayers will get fed up with their futile attacks of gaming and vote them out of office.

mauro311
mauro311

THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN!!!! im from utah...

fishheads111
fishheads111

Wow, lets ignore the drugs, disease, guns, violence, car thefts, break ins, murders, suicides, overdoses(more drugs of course), smoking, alchohol, and stupidity. Lets try and take down videogames! Lets also lose and end up paying the people we try to take down...why don't we just give up...

oboewan9999
oboewan9999

Free speech is an urban myth. When you can't put your radio station on live365.com without paying a government-mandated $500 extra per year on top of royalties fees, just because it's on the Internet, that should go against the First Amendment. When you can't play "Start Me Up" late at night during the Super Bowl halftime show, when all of the kiddies are asleep, that should go against the First Amendment. When the government is outright censoring what we can buy and what we can't, that should go against the First Amendment. And they do. But nobody cares.

datniccah187
datniccah187

Hmm glad i don't live in Louisiana, and i'm not a minor. I will be buying whatever games i want to buy. But on a more serious note, this is absolutely rediculous. Law makers and such should really stop putting some much emphasis on games, and worry about more important things.

RoC1909
RoC1909

What they need to do is take the money out of the Louisiana DA's wallets. Don't they have other more pressing issues (Katrina anyone) than to be messing around with video games and their so called effects on people.

flashtek
flashtek

Finally the true legal system in action. Jack T. will pay for for this one, maybe not in money but he has lost credibility with law makers and politicians.

rugripper40
rugripper40

still 92,000 dollars is alot of taxpayers money to be handed over for a frivilous law suit....they need stop blaming games and maybe clean up the corruption in the usa instead...that might be a better plan...lol....its not the games,its the people in general.they will be violent no matter if they play a game or not......and alot of criminals use games as a scapegoat cause politics keep putting it on center stage and gives them a reason of why there like that.maybe they are just evil,you think???....lol

ldonyo
ldonyo

The headline for this article is clearly mis-stating the amount the State of Louisiana was ordered to pay. $145,000 was the amount requested, but only a bit less than $92,000 was awarded. It looks like GameSpot is taking their cue from the Fox News school of "journalism". The State of Louisiana should sue Jack Thompson for the $92,000, since it was his BS bill that started the ball rolling.

Kfoss
Kfoss

BAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! YOU LOOSE JT! YOU LOOSE Louisiana!...so NOW WHAT! GO ESA! GO ESA! GO GO GO GO GO GO GO GO..i say make JT pay the fine..he started that law...he should be the one to pay...

JFreezy02
JFreezy02

I'm glad to hear of a judge with a head on his shoulders!

lhardwick692
lhardwick692

the guys that has to pay the fine/penalties for what they did--wh do you think has to pay for their screw-up--its not them--but the taxpayers of that state..so who truely wins.. ..and more tax dollars will be wasted on this matter--use the rating system in tact right now--mature rated games for people 17 and up--and dont sale it to people under that age--and parents take the responsibility in watching what your kids are playingand tell them right from wrong--dont let the games or movies rated r or mature tell them--things will be alot better

zinkeboy
zinkeboy

This brings the scoreboard to The Consitution - 1 Backwater States - 0

anarchicgoth
anarchicgoth

well you know maybe they should actually do some thing worthwhile instead of trying to bring gaming down.

PacoL250
PacoL250

Granted we can all talk about parental responsibility here and rightly so but I'll spare everybody and not beat a dead horse. And so, this is probably the best news for gamers and gaming companies as of late. What I especially like is Judge Brady's quotes in the ruling. And it's so true. I'd hate to be the taxpayers of Louisiana; no wonder my parents and I moved when I was 3.

blamder-drag
blamder-drag

Its parents jobs to restrict what kids play and stores need some restrictions but the ones they have now work fine.

wild_world_girl
wild_world_girl

CCRich: " If the voters were educated then the politicians would get theirs" Well said. Though it will never happen, it still feels good to fantasize about it from time to time :)

muthsera666
muthsera666

There must be some discipline however. Too many parents these day go the path of least resistance and just give their children things such as games as rewards for doing what they are supposed to do in the first place. I think there needs to be more discipline that what there is now. When I look at the public, I see children doing things that may parents would have given me **** for, and rightly so. It is easier to bribe children to do what it is that the parent wants than to try to discipline them. Discipline can teach values in a more effective manner than caving into the wants of the children.

Tylendal
Tylendal

Why shouldn't they be reimbursed for the money they paid in their defence? In Canada, if the plaintif loses the case, they have to pay for the court costs of the defendant.

rugripper40
rugripper40

The fault lies is the lack of parenting, lack of legal disciplinary actions, and how child are taught in school..................this statement is utter nonsence....kids will be kids and hopefully as a parent you guide them in the right direction....the rest is up to them....strict discipline pushes children to rebel and it screws them up mentally......maybe we need less parents with a stiff hand and more love in this world.maybe it would be a better place to live in...lol

Beards_Mahoney
Beards_Mahoney

In order for the proper people to be punished it should be the politians who have to pay it out thier oown pocket. In the long run, that money in their pockets comes from the taxpayers too. Thats why stuff like this unconstitutional game law aren't supposed to happen.

CCRich
CCRich

Blazer88, you're right but, sadly, things don't work that way. If the voters were educated then the politicians would get theirs when election time came around but that probably won't be the case.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

That would buy a lot of school books.

darthfrag
darthfrag

I agree with maxxorz... Generation X is just beginning to take control from the people who have little to no idea what gaming is about. I'm 33, I vote, and I've been playing games since the days of Pong. We're coming for your jobs, small-minded politicians, and we'll be looking out for our games when we take over.

maxxorz
maxxorz

I cannot wait when those of these last three generations, Genration X, Generation Y, and the Millenial Generation get into power in the governments. these are the people who grew up as gamers. I can't tolerate these absent minded buffoons in office.

Blazer88
Blazer88

Hmm, well its a good thing, but not really because it is taxpayer money being used to pay the fine. In order for the proper people to be punished it should be the politians who have to pay it out thier oown pocket.

lightningbugx
lightningbugx

Hey, somehow the amendment on prohibition was passed. But as far as violence is concerned, it is the lack of listening that causes the worst cases. When a child has major problems and conflicts in life but no one listens, that child has to be heard somehow. And sometimes, those that are suppose to listen fail at it or refuse to assist. The fault lies is the lack of parenting, lack of legal disciplinary actions, and how child are taught in school. Guns are not the only things that kill, and anyone with a strong enough feeling to do so will find a way. No just legal actions can keep someone from being armed, but such actions can prevent the ideas from getting that far.

mkalle1
mkalle1

Hey Light_Destroyer - it was some state senators including Sen. Kostelka from north Louisiana near Monroe who authored the bill RS 14:91.14 to ban video games. Look it up, you'll see. Anyway, dont' just blame south Louisiana. South Louisiana public leaders are too busy selling out Louisiana's future to worry about video games. This state is one of the most frustrating places to live. Of all the things to worry about, why video games? Also, see RS 14:283 for a laugh. If this was enforced, why go to Mardi Gras?

DieHardTWB
DieHardTWB

It's not the games that cause violence, it's the lack of good parenting skills in our nation.

rpgisforme
rpgisforme

Makes me glad I'm a Canadian. Our elected officials are too busy drinking beer and playing hockey to worry about trying to stop violent games. They probably all play G.T.A. at home every night after dinner. LOL

princekenji
princekenji

I just hope that it doesn't pass some time in the future somewhere else.

devious122799
devious122799

HEY POLITICIANS. I am a 30 year old gamer. I have 4 daughters. I raise them myself. I control what they are exposed to. Please use my 11,000 dollars of tax revenue to send battle armor to the 18 and 19 year old sons of my neighbor across the street, INSTEAD OF THIS USELESS LITIGATION! Thank You. \\Turns to left, steps down from wooden soapbox, fade to black