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EMA Takes on Restrictive State Bills

12 Jun, 2007 By: Billy Gil

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), leading up to its annual Home Media Expo in July, has been busy taking on local bills that will restrict home media retailers.

EMA opposes New York Senate Bill 5941, which would bar dissemination to persons under age 17 video games that depict “depraved violence” and “indecent images,” making it a Class E felony to do so. Although the bill is still active but hasn't been passed, Assembly Bill 8696, which includes the video game proposal in S.B. 5941 and additionally would require all new video game consoles sold in New York to contain parental control mechanisms, passed May 30.

EMA also opposed New York's S.B. 5888, which would mandate video games display ratings and would prohibit renting and selling contrary to the listed rating in New York. The bill was approved May 21.

In the realm of used goods, the association expressed concerns over a Rhode Island House of Representatives proposal (H.B. 5901) to require recordkeeping for all purchases of second-hand articles by dealers, as well as a similar proposal in Wisconsin (A.B. 301). EMA is evaluating its stance on a proposed expansion of Ohio's secondhand goods law (S.B. 171), which would not directly change secondhand DVD and video game transactions (Ohio already requires recordkeeping on those), while it opposes proposed Missouri legislation to limit the disclosure of law enforcement information about secondhand goods transactions.

On the adult front, EMA has spoken up against proposals in Tennessee (H.B. 770), California (A.B. 1551) and Illinois (H.B. 286) that would either impose taxes or location restrictions on stores that sell mature-themed materials. Tennessee and California have put off consideration on their measures, while the Illinois bill, which could effect the location of mainstream stores that sell adult materials, passed.

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