Week 14: Sex, Drugs, Rock n’ Roll, Violence and Video Games, Oh My! We will take a look at some difficult areas of violence and obscene language on television, in video games and in song lyrics and some novel cases they present; as well as the issue of government regulation/censorship or self-regulation.
Assignment: You are the CEO of “Really, Friendly, Family Entertainment” and your creative team has brought you a new movie that has lots of sex and violence in it. You think it will be very successful and make the company very profitable. You do worry that it goes against some of the values that the company is known for. Do you release this movie? Or do you send it to another studio? What other possible strategies might you employ with respect to this release? Write a brief paper on how you’d respond.
Read the following cases: Video Software Dealers Assn vs. Schwarzenegger attacking a California law attempting to reign in violent video games at http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/cert/08-1448.
Byers v. Edmondon, a case involving the film, Natural Born Killers, and Miramax Films Corp. v. M.P.A.A. exploring a film company’s right to challenge the rating system for films; and also, Maljack Productions Inc. v. M.P.A.A.; F.C.C. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. where the Supreme Court weighed in on certain words that cannot be said on television; and Zamora v. CBS where a family sued a network blaming its programming for a murder committed by their teenage son! Blaming media companies and artists for violent behavior continued: Davidson v. Time Warner Inc.; McCollum v. CBS, Inc.; Pahler v. Slayer. Do you think there is any behavior or speech that could give rise to liability for resulting injury? Is this possible under the First Amendment? Come prepared to discuss.
Currently, the FCC regulates what can be said over the public airwaves – radio and television stations that broadcast over-the-air. They do not have the right to regulate premium cable stations that you pay additional to have. The result is that premium cable television programming can be far more adventurous in what they show and in the language that is spoken. Do we still need the FCC to regulate over-the-air broadcasts or should parents be given ratings information to protect their children?
Ratings systems are currently in place for motion pictures, television programs, recordings (although I’m not sure if Spotify or other streaming services display these) and video games. Are they working? What if any changes are required?
No limited words