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Society & Culture
Virtual Legality Episode 60

The Many (many) Problems with the Loot Box Bill: A Lawyer's View

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2y May 24, 2019
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On May 23, 2019, Senators Hawley, Markey, and Blumental filed their long-awaited Senate Bill aiming to prohibit the use of "loot boxes" and "pay-to-win" monetization practices in the gaming industry.

Though we discussed the initial announcement of the bill in "Virtual Legality #55 - MT Words: The Legal Issues Posed by Senator's Proposed Microtransaction Ban" (https://youtu.be/Cd_j0qb7amY), the end product has proven to be even more problematic than initially described.

What does the proposed bill aim to do and how does it differ from Senator Hawley's initial description?

Why do so many of the bill's defined terms "kick the can" down the road, relying on "reasonable person" standards or after-the-fact federal trade commission determinations?

Why is it a bad idea to codify rules promulgated by an executive agency in the first place?

Why is it an especially bad idea when those rules were promulgated for an expressly different purpose and business market?

What effect would we expect such an overbroad and far-reaching set of draconian restrictions to have on the industry at large if passed and made into law?

And so much more...

Don't worry. Nothing is left to chance in...Virtual Legality.

#LootBox #Law #VirtualLegality


Discussed in this episode:

"SENATOR HAWLEY TO INTRODUCE LEGISLATION BANNING MANIPULATIVE VIDEO GAME FEATURES AIMED AT CHILDREN"
Sen. Hawley Press Release - May 8, 2019
(https://www.hawley.senate.gov/senator-hawley-introduce-legislation-banning-manipulative-video-game-features-aimed-children)

"A bill to regulate certain pay-to-win microtransactions and sales
of loot boxes in interactive digital entertainment products, and for other purposes. "
Proposed U.S. Senate Bill
(https://www.hawley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2019-05/Loot-Box-Bill-Text.pdf)

"SENATORS HAWLEY, MARKEY, AND BLUMENTHAL FILE LEGISLATION TO STOP MANIPULATIVE VIDEO GAME PRACTICES AIMED AT CHILDREN"
Sen. Hawley Press Release - May 23, 2019
(https://www.hawley.senate.gov/senators-hawley-markey-and-blumenthal-file-legislation-stop-manipulative-video-game-practices-aimed)

"CHILDREN'S ONLINE PRIVACY PROTECTION RULE"
CFR 312.1 et seq
(https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=4939e77c77a1a1a08c1cbf905fc4b409&node=16%3A1.0.1.3.36&rgn=div5)

"Unfair or deceptive acts or practices rulemaking proceedings"
Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 57a
(https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/57a)

"DECEPTIVE AND UNFAIR ACTS AND PRACTICES PRINCIPLES: EVOLUTION AND CONVERGENCE"
J. Thomas Rosch - Speech to the CA State Bar - May 18, 2007
(https://www.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/public_statements/deceptive-and-unfair-acts-and-practices-principles-evolution-and-convergence/070518evolutionandconvergence_0.pdf)


PODCAST VERSIONS AVAILABLE AT

Spotify: (https://open.spotify.com/show/3qsDhQ7h6BR2wLyNQYDWB4)

iTunes:
(https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/virtual-legality/id1448785539?mt=2)

SoundCloud:
(https://soundcloud.com/user-510342404)

Google Play Music:
(https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/In3d7qersx72lvzehxo7gu6cd5u)


"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

Rick has practiced for more than a decade at some of the country's largest law firms, representing IT, software, video game, and other technology companies, as well as the individuals and institutions which fund them.

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.

Any and all feedback is appreciated. Let us know what you think!


Blog, "Rules of the Game", at https://hoeglaw.wordpress.com/

On "Help Us Out Hoeg!" a regular segment on the Easy Allies Podcast (formerly GameTrailers)

(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZrxXp1reP8E353rZsB3jaA)

Biweekly on "Inside the Huddle with Michael Spath" on WTKA 1050

About Hoeg Law

The Hoeg Law Firm is a business law firm with big law experience and a small firm approach focusing on start-ups, technology, financing, and everything else a business might need.


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