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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Vindicia sides with online gaming industry against CA statute

Vindicia Inc., a processor of prepaid card payments for online gaming websites, filed a legal brief with the United States Supreme Court that argues against a California statute that imposes fines on companies that sell what are classified as violent video games to people under 18 years of age.

Vindicia civil rights counsel Alan Gura said in the amicus curae brief that the vagueness of the statute raises cquestions about the law's application to online gaming models, and that the law would impose on consumers' and business' First Amendment rights to free speech.

Vindicia argues that the statute's age-verification requirement substantially interferes with legitimate adult expression by jeopardizing the increasingly popular free play business model that allows gamers to play massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) for free and then pay for premium content or virtual goods via payment methods such as prepaid cards.

Vindicia Chief Executive Officer Gene Hoffman said, "The statute conveys a lack of understanding of the magnitude, complexity, sophistication and rapid innovation of the online gaming industry, and of the profound implications of the statute on this industry.

"The result would be to deprive millions of adult online gaming customers who have a right to spend their entertainment dollars as they see fit, while chilling the vibrant, innovative online gaming industry that serves them."

Vindicia said oral arguments will be heard before the Supreme Court on Nov. 2, 2010.

end of article

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