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H.R. 3785 (103rd): Video Game Rating Act of 1994


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 3, 1994 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


HR 3785 IH

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3785

To provide for the establishment of the Interactive Entertainment Rating Commission, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 3, 1994

Mr. LANTOS introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary


A BILL

To provide for the establishment of the Interactive Entertainment Rating Commission, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND PURPOSE.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Video Game Rating Act of 1994’.

    (b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to provide parents with information about the nature of video games which are used in homes or public areas, including arcades or family entertainment centers.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act--

      (1) the terms ‘video games’ and ‘video devices’ mean any interactive computer game, including all software, framework and hardware necessary to operate a game, placed in interstate commerce; and

      (2) the term ‘video game industry’ means all manufacturers of video games and related products.

SEC. 3. THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT RATING COMMISSION.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established the Interactive Entertainment Rating Commission (hereafter in this Act referred to as the ‘Commission’) which shall be an independent establishment in the executive branch as defined under section 104 of title 5, United States Code.

    (b) MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION- (1)(A) The Commission shall be composed of 5 members. No more than 3 members shall be affiliated with any 1 political party.

    (B) The members shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President shall designate 1 member as the Chairman of the Commission.

    (2) All members shall be appointed within 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (c) TERMS- Each member shall serve until the termination of the Commission.

    (d) VACANCIES- A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

    (e) COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS- (1) Section 5314 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new item:

    ‘Chairman, Interactive Entertainment Rating Commission.’.

    (2) Section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new item:

    ‘Members, Interactive Entertainment Rating Commission.’.

    (3) The amendments made by this subsection are repealed effective on the date of termination of the Commission.

    (f) STAFF- (1) The Chairman of the Commission may, without regard to the civil service laws and regulations, appoint and terminate an executive director and such other additional personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to perform its duties. The employment of an executive director shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission.

    (2) The Chairman of the Commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title.

    (g) CONSULTANTS- The Commission may procure by contract, to the extent funds are available, the temporary or intermittent services of experts or consultants under section 3109 of title 5, United States Code. The Commission shall give public notice of any such contract before entering into such contract.

    (h) FUNDING- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such sums as are necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its duties under this Act, such sums to remain available until December 31, 1996.

    (i) TERMINATION- The Commission shall terminate on the earlier of--

      (1) December 31, 1996; or

      (2) 90 days after the Commission submits a written determination to the President that voluntary standards are established that are adequate to warn purchasers of the violent or sexually explicit content of video games.

SEC. 4. AUTHORITY AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION.

    (a) VOLUNTARY STANDARDS- (1) The Commission shall--

      (A) during the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, and to the greatest extent practicable, coordinate with the video game industry in the development of a voluntary system for providing information concerning the contents of video games to purchasers and users; and

      (B) 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act--

        (i) evaluate whether any voluntary standards proposed by the video game industry are adequate to warn purchasers and users about the violence or sexually explicit content of video games; and

        (ii) determine whether the voluntary industry response is sufficient to adequately warn parents and users of the violence or sex content of video games.

    (2) If before the end of the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission makes a determination of adequate industry response under paragraph (1)(B)(ii) and a determination that sufficient voluntary standards are established, the Commission shall--

      (A) submit a report of such determinations and the reasons therefor to the President and the Congress; and

      (B) terminate in accordance with section 3(i)(2).

    (b) REGULATORY AUTHORITY- Effective on and after the date occurring 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act the Commission may promulgate regulations requiring manufacturers and sellers of video games to provide adequate information relating to violence or sexually explicit content of such video games to purchasers and users.

SEC. 5. ANTITRUST EXEMPTION.

    The antitrust laws as defined in subsection (a) of the first section of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 45) and the law of unfair competition under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45) shall not apply to any joint discussion, consideration, review, action, or agreement by or among persons in the video game industry for the purpose of, and limited to, developing and disseminating voluntary guidelines designed to provide appropriate information regarding the sex or violence content of video games to purchasers of video games at the point of sale or initial use or other users of such video games. The exemption provided for in this subsection shall not apply to any joint discussion, consideration, review, action, or agreement which results in a boycott of any person.