Court Issues Injunction In CTA Video Game Ads Lawsuit (UPDATED)

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jan 8, 2010 4:35PM

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The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has granted a preliminary injunction to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) in their lawsuit against the CTA for banning certain video game ads. The ESA filed a lawsuit last summer alleging the transit agency was infringing upon their first amendment rights by refusing to display ads for "mature audience" video games. CTA's Ordinance 008-147 which bans any advertisement that “markets or identifies a video or computer game rated “Mature 17+” (M) or “Adults Only 18+” (AO).” In her opinion on the case, Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer said, "the advertisements the CTA wishes to ban promote expression that has constitutional value and implicates core First Amendment concerns.” (
Check out the full 22-page ruling here.)

ESA's president and CEO Michael Gallagher said in a statement, "This ruling is a win for Chicago's citizens, the video game industry and, above all, the First Amendment. It is our hope that the CTA sees the futility of pursuing this case further. To do so will waste taxpayer money and government resources. Chicago deserves better and we look forward to bringing this matter to an end."

The CTA has issued a statement saying, "The CTA disagrees with the decision to issue a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the the CTA's ordinance barring the advertisement of M and A-O Rated video games. The CTA is currently reviewing the court's analysis as well as its options for moving forward."

The CTA had previously dealt with such controversy in 2008 when they were sued for pulling ads for the violent (and popular) video game Grand Theft Auto IV, a suit that was eventually settled with the CTA running the ads for six weeks.