ESA Wants $1.1 Million From California

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ESA Wants $1.1 Million From California

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The Entertainment Software Association has filed for $1.1 million in legal fees from California following its landmark victory over the state at the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of the United States recently reaffirmed what lowers courts in the country have been saying for years: that videogames are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as books, movies and music. That landmark decision came about as a result of a California law that went on the books all the way back in 2005 and was then almost immediately suspended following an appeal by the ESA. The law was eventually struck down as unconstitutional, a decision which was held up on appeal, but California persisted all the way to the top court, where it lost one last time.

And now it's time to pony up. The financially-strapped state, which has already given the ESA $282,794 in legal fees resulting from its first loss, is now looking at another $1.1 million tab thanks to its ill-advised persistence. "From the start of this misguided legislation, then-Governor Schwarzenegger and specific California legislators knew that their efforts to censor and restrict expression were, as court after court ruled, unconstitutional and thus a waste of taxpayers' money, government time, and state resources," ESA President Michael Gallagher said in a statement.

"California persisted in defending a law that Plaintiffs warned the Legislature was unconstitutional before it was passed; that was previously found to be unconstitutional by the district court and a unanimous panel of the Ninth Circuit; and that is similar to at least eight other laws invalidated as unconstitutional prior to the time that California sought certiorari in this case," the ESA argued in its motion to recover attorney's fees.

California is the eighth-largest economy in the world, ahead of nations including Canada, Russia and India, but is currently struggling with a $9.6 billion budget shortfall. From a practical perspective, a million-dollar legal bill is just a drop in the bucket, but like the proverbial teabagging that follows the headshot, it's the thought that counts.

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I am a californian, and I say pony it up. Maybe next time you'll think twice before wasting taxpayer dollars pursuing obviously unconstitutional laws to win political points with idiots.

Yes, as another Californian in this thread I say we pay up. This isn't the first roundly unconstitutional/insane thing our state has done and -- debt crisis or not -- it's the state's duty to pay those fees. I doubt the state will slow down in doing insane things but that's nothing new.

I may love my state but we have the worst public officials in the US

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Couldn't happen to a nicer state.

What a wonderful last line. Luls were had.

Andy Chalk:
...but like the proverbial teabagging that follows the headshot, it's the thought that counts.

but like the proverbial teabagging that follows the headshot, it's the thought that counts.

Made my day.

Of all the things they needed fixing and persistance on, video games wasn't it.

The industry can't be a scapegoat anymore.

Ok California, time to pay up, you knew this was gonna happen, so just pay the nice people and go back to doing...well, whatever you doing before.

And let this be a lesson to you when you want to use the taxpayer's money for something that everyone already knew in the first place.

So this is pretty much the ESA kicking them while they're down. I approve. Also...

As am MLP fan says to someone outside the herd:

"PONY UP!"

Also that Last line Chalk?

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Much Lulz was had that minuite.

Err... won't these $1.1 million also be taxpayers' money?

That sounds like a bad idea, considering the state of the US economy.

I can't add anything substantial to the conversation. So I'll just do this:

+1 Approve
+1 Lulz
+1 "Ha ha ha!!!"

Now I'm waiting for the karmic balance to change, and to throw my own state of Pennsylvania under the bus. It's going to happen, probably sooner rather than later.

It's very uncommon in this type of litigation in the US for legal fees to be awarded to the winner. That is normally done in cases of frivolous lawsuits made in bad faith. Which of course could happen since there is evidence they were given fair warning from multiple experts it was unconstitutional. If the ESA is awarded legal fees, that is one more kick in the nuts to the people backing this litigation since it in essence declares them idiots.

JediMB:
Err... won't these $1.1 million also be taxpayers' money?

That sounds like a bad idea, considering the state of the US economy.

Yeah, but that's what happens when elected officials do stupid crap. The people who voted for them have to pay for their mistakes. It happens often enough, you vote them out of office.

Saw the announcement on Twitter and thought: "What? The European Space Agency is demanding 1.1$ from California!? WTF is that! I gotta check that out!"

scott91575:
If the ESA is awarded legal fees, that is one more kick in the nuts to the people backing this litigation since it in essence declares them idiots.

Which they are. :3

Much as I cheer at the win in gamers' favor, I don't see California coughing up the cash. Considering they are a bankrupt state(Which makes no sense since their GDP rivals or beats small countries' own. Balance budget much? Obviously not!), better to not put any more pain on the taxpayers there, most of whom could have cared less about the ratings legislation or been on the ESA's stance for their own reasons. I hope

specific California legislators

are removed from office before they come up with other dumb ideas to put California further into a money pit.

Better to just call it a win and hold a fundraiser to make up for the expenses.

California should do it, since they came up with this case in the first place, but it sucks that it is coming out of taxpayer money. (Though it might be in the state's favor to save their money and not do dumb things like this anymore.)

Put me down as another Californian wanting the state to pony up.

Take it out of the school budget. No one actually needs smartboards and they know it.

...Our state's seal is a somewhat sad hodgepodge of symbolism.

I feel bad for California. My time there has shown me that it's a beautiful state with some very nice people. Too bad it's state government is so shite.

While this hurdle is over and done with i cant quite escape the feeling that California is going to try something different next time.

I came here expecting a crazy story about the European Space Agency. Instead I find that.
Not sure if disappointed...

samsonguy920:
Much as I cheer at the win in gamers' favor, I don't see California coughing up the cash. Considering they are a bankrupt state(Which makes no sense since their GDP rivals or beats small countries' own. Balance budget much? Obviously not!), better to not put any more pain on the taxpayers there, most of whom could have cared less about the ratings legislation or been on the ESA's stance for their own reasons. I hope

specific California legislators

are removed from office before they come up with other dumb ideas to put California further into a money pit.

Better to just call it a win and hold a fundraiser to make up for the expenses.

I, on the other hand, see this as a $1.1M reason to kick stupid legislators out of office come election day. This isn't an organization stealing the lunch money from a bankrupt state. These are elected officials demonstrating the kind of idiocy that led California into debt in the first place. Don't like it (and live in California)? Vote the fuckers out.

Also, I hate that my political view has become so cynical that I don't vote for people that I feel can do the most for us; I vote against people that I feel will do the most damage while they're in office.

scott91575:
It's very uncommon in this type of litigation in the US for legal fees to be awarded to the winner. That is normally done in cases of frivolous lawsuits made in bad faith. Which of course could happen since there is evidence they were given fair warning from multiple experts it was unconstitutional. If the ESA is awarded legal fees, that is one more kick in the nuts to the people backing this litigation since it in essence declares them idiots.

works for me now where is the dunce cap at....

I though the title was about the European Space Administration. I was really confused. It makes a lot more sense now.

Though I don't know if they'll have to fight for it long; California may be hugely indebted like the rest of the US, but their still wealthy enough to pay up no problem.

Make Leland Yee pay it. He wrote the damn law in the first place, he should have to pay to defend it. Plus it would send a message to the California lawmakers. You write a stupid bill, be prepared to pay for it in cold hard cash.

Yeah, it's still taxpayer money, but at least it's taxpayer money already given to Lee.

RonHiler:
Make Leland Yee pay it. He wrote the damn law in the first place, he should have to pay to defend it. Plus it would send a message to the California lawmakers. You write a stupid bill, be prepared to pay for it in cold hard cash.

Yeah, it's still taxpayer money, but at least it's taxpayer money already given to Lee.

Thank you, I was trying to remember his name. He championed the damn bill and wouldn't let it die when it should had. He should be the one to pay.

My friend was a political science major and several of his classes actually discussed people who do nothing but make money from writing and trying to push through ridiculous legislation. His professor called it cancer in government.

If there was a way to make Leland Yee pay others wouldn't be so inclined to try to get shit passed into law.

JediMB:
Err... won't these $1.1 million also be taxpayers' money?

That sounds like a bad idea, considering the state of the US economy.

Is the government not accountable for it's actions? Not like they'll get 1.1 million. There are limitations to the amount you can sue a state over.

The Grim Ace:
I may love my state but we have the worst public officials in the US

I don't know, as a Texan I'd like to nominate my state officials for worst in the nation.

But on topic though I think this is a long time coming, California should not have been pursuing this after they had clearly lost. They wasted their time and money along with the ESA's and need to face the consequences for that.

On the other hand, they already lost, should they have to pay the legal fees for the side that already won? Will that really help anything?

bout time california got punished for passing unconstitutional laws. (maby not the state it self but alot of the cities pass some major stupid laws)

Now THAT is how you do it. Don't just defend Free Speech. Go on the offensive! Those who attempt to restrict Free Speech need to be punished for their crimes. I completely support the ESA's attempts at doing just that, and I sure hope they win.

Free Speech has almost been unconstitutionally restricted on many cases. (And in some cases, it HAS. See "Christopher Handley".) We need to put a stop to laws like that being made. And the best way to prevent laws like that, is to make people AFRAID of passing them. If the ESA wins this case, I seriously doubt California will ever try to restrict Free Speech again. They'll be too scared of racking up another $1.1 million bill. I would be thrilled if Free Speech had fear on its side.

New Frontiersman:

The Grim Ace:
I may love my state but we have the worst public officials in the US

I don't know, as a Texan I'd like to nominate my state officials for worst in the nation.

But on topic though I think this is a long time coming, California should not have been pursuing this after they had clearly lost. They wasted their time and money along with the ESA's and need to face the consequences for that.

New York here I think your both off a bit (Chuck Shumer sure does LOVE the sound of his own voice, I was worried that if him and Donald Trump ever got into one room all that hot gas would fuse and create a star.)

edit: on topic if California spend their money like same people instead of retarted monkeys they would have no debt and few problems as their economy is quite large, I think they need to pay up to the ESA>

Belated:
Now THAT is how you do it. Don't just defend Free Speech. Go on the offensive! Those who attempt to restrict Free Speech need to be punished for their crimes. I completely support the ESA's attempts at doing just that, and I sure hope they win.

Free Speech has almost been unconstitutionally restricted on many cases. (And in some cases, it HAS. See "Christopher Handley".) We need to put a stop to laws like that being made. And the best way to prevent laws like that, is to make people AFRAID of passing them. If the ESA wins this case, I seriously doubt California will ever try to restrict Free Speech again. They'll be too scared of racking up another $1.1 million bill. I would be thrilled if Free Speech had fear on its side.

LOL 1.1 milllion dolars to California is like 1/2 a cent to you or me.

New Frontiersman:

On the other hand, they already lost, should they have to pay the legal fees for the side that already won? Will that really help anything?

It will strongly discourage future attempts at bringing up the same thing.

A few months ago there was a court case in Texas (I may be wrong about the state) in which a highschool cheerleader was allegedly raped by a boy at her school who happened to be on one of the teams. One way or another it was determined through the justice system that he was not guilty. She stuck to her guns and refused to cheer for him, and so she was removed from the cheerleading squad. Her family tried to sue the school, but it was determined that the cheerleading position is a mouthpiece of the school and not a place for her to have the freedom of expressing her own opinion, so she lost. So she tried to sue the school again in a different court. And she lost again. So she tried to take them to federal court, and she lost again, this time being forced to pay a large sum for "frivolous" attempts to pursue the same case. As far as I know she hasn't attempted again.

In the same way, it will stop, or at least discourage, California, and others, from attempting to pursue this case a third time (or however many times we are at).

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