According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Supreme Court
upheld a federal appeals court decision to strike down a 2005
California law that would have prohibited the selling or renting of
violent video games to minors, reportedly voting 7-2 that the said
law violates the First Amendment.
The law was supposedly based on legislative findings that such
games stimulate "feelings of aggression", reduce
"activity in the frontal lobes", and "promote
violent antisocial or aggressive behavior". The law therefore
would have prohibited anyone under 18 from buying or renting games
that give players the option of killing, maiming, dismembering or
sexually assaulting an image of a human being.
The questions dealt, inter-alia, with how far the constitutional
protections of free speech and expression can be applied to
Video game makers and sellers appear to have argued that the
existing nationwide, industry-imposed, voluntary rating system is
an adequate screen for parents to judge their appropriateness,
while on the other hand, the State apparently tried to defend its
legal obligation to protect children from graphic interactive
images, when the industry has failed to do so.
The High Court reportedly held that as far as the First
Amendment goes, the viewing of violent video games is essentially
the same as reading books, and explained that there is no tradition
in the United States of restrictions on children's access to
depictions of violence, even pointing out violence in many
children's fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella and
Snow White. Courts have seemingly refused to permit government
regulation of minors' access to any form of entertainment,
except in regards to sexual content and obscenity.
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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