Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association Update Center

Schwarzenegger v. EMA

Welcome to the official GamerNode Update Center for the Supreme Court hearing of the Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association trial. Here you will find a complete list of links to all of the news stories surrounding the trial, as reported here on GN. We’ve collected them in one convenient location to make following the case easier for readers interested in this very important hearing.

Schwarzenegger v. EMA is a long-standing case against a pair of bills proposed by California Congressman Leland Yee and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. These pieces of legislature attempted to require that all games deemed "ultraviolent" be clearly labelled beyond the long-standing and comprehensive ESRB ratings, and also stocked separately from other games in retail establishments. Under the proposed law, stores found selling such video games to minors would be fined up to $1000 per sale.

Although the final language of the signed law limited the labelling requirements to the standard ESRB warnings, the Entertainment Merchants Association the took the law’s constitutionality to court shortly after it was signed in order to protect the First Amendment rights (and the overall financial success and artistic freedom) of the videogame industry, and won the case in 2007, when Judge Ronald M. Whyte of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of the EMA.

Schwarzenegger unsuccessfully appealed the ruling in 2007, and in 2009 brought the case to the Supreme Court in a last attempt to finally defeat the decision. Although the EMA has won every prior decision, the highest court in the United States has accepted, is now hearing, and will ultimately rule on the case. Whatever the Supreme Court rules will be permanent.

If the EMA wins, then video games will be safe from persecution by US law for their violent content. They will be legally guaranteed the same rights as books, TV, music, and movies.

If the Schwarzenegger (a.k.a. The State of California) wins, then video games will be deemed as an exception, different from all other forms of entertainment, and thus open to government censorship. It could also bring into question the legality of violence in other forms of previously protected entertainment.

Follow the links below for GamerNode’s continuous coverage on this important litigation.

Supreme Court case opening arguments now available via audio
The Daily Show covers the violent video game issue
Supreme Court hears opening arguments in violent video game case
ESA confident after Supreme Court hearing
ECA Supreme Court Rally video shows parents, kids, and Mario support First Amendment rights


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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