Text: S.1823 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/03/1994)

 
[Congressional Bills 103th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 1823 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

103d CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 1823

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


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

             February 3 (legislative day, January 25), 1994

 Mr. Lieberman (for himself, Mr. Kohl, and Mr. Dorgan) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 
                 Commerce, Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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) The Chairman shall be paid at a 
rate equal to the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic 
pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 
of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including traveltime) 
during which the Chairman is engaged in the performance of duties 
vested in the Commission.
    (2) Except for the Chairman who shall be paid as provided under 
subparagraph (A), each member of the Commission shall be paid at a rate 
equal to the daily equivalent of the minimum annual rate of basic pay 
payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of 
title 5, United States Code, for each day (including traveltime) during 
which the member is engaged in the performance of duties vested in the 
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.--(1) 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.
    (2) The Commission shall set a reasonable user fee which shall be 
calculated to be sufficient to reimburse the United States for all sums 
appropriated under subparagraph (1).
    (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.

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