Video game group files lawsuit over CTA ad rule

Jul 22, 2009 By MIKE ROBINSON , AP Legal Affairs Writer

(AP) -- A trade group that represents software and video game publishers sued the Chicago Transit Authority on Wednesday, saying a rule barring ads on trains and buses for "mature" and "adults only" games violates the right to freedom of speech.

"The CTA's ordinance constitutes a clear violation of the constitutional rights of the entertainment software industry," said Michael D. Gallagher, chief executive officer of the Washington-based Entertainment Software Association.

The association maintains that computer and video games are entitled to the same free speech protection under the First Amendment as other forms of entertainment such as movies.

Kenneth L. Doroshow, general counsel of the association, pointed out that the movie "Resident Evil," which is based on a video game, could be advertised on CTA buses and trains but the game itself could not under the rule, which was approved in November 2008.

CTA spokeswoman Wanda Taylor said the authority believes "that our ordinance is defensible."

"CTA does not allow ads for alcohol or tobacco products and this ordinance is consistent with that longstanding policy," she said.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges that the CTA's rule unconstitutionally "restricts speech in a public forum that is otherwise open to all speakers without a compelling interest for doing so." It asks the court to declare the rule void, to bar the CTA from enforcing it and to award the association court costs and legal fees.

Doroshow said association officials discussed the matter with CTA officials for some time and that the transit authority's objection was that some games labeled ""mature" and "adults only" could inspire violence among those who play the games.

The association says the ads themselves are subject to the Entertainment Software Rating Board's Advertising Review Council, which "strictly regulates computer and advertisements that are seen by the general public."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: EU says Ireland grants Apple illegal tax benefits

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Iowa town seeks status as video gamers' mecca

May 17, 2009

(AP) -- For a brief shining moment in the 1980s, Ottumwa was the unlikely hot spot of the fledgling video game industry as gamers around the globe flocked to this sleepy Iowa city and its video game arcade ...

Clinton joins video game censoring rally

Jul 17, 2005

Video games are big business for the computer industry, from software monolith Microsoft to start-up companies run by individual game programmers, yet as the content of many games becomes increasingly violent and pornographic, ...

Recommended for you

Canada demands Google, Netflix data, sets deadline

3 hours ago

Canada's broadcast regulator on Monday gave American companies Google and Netflix a three-day deadline to turn over subscriber data or have their testimony expunged from a major public hearing, media reported.

Lenovo looks to expand after IBM acquisition

Sep 29, 2014

Lenovo Group has received U.S. and European approval to complete its acquisition of IBM Corp.'s low-end server business and plans to use it to grow faster outside its personal computer business, Lenovo's ...

Tech-friendly cities struggle with new biz rules (Update)

Sep 28, 2014

A renowned technology hub that is home to some of the country's top universities, Boston is emerging as an unlikely battleground for web-based businesses like Airbnb and Uber, with some saying more regulations ...

User comments : 0