Indiana Prosecutor Threatens Redbox With Criminal Charges If It Doesn't Remove R-Rated Movies
from the let-me-introduce-you-to-the-constitution dept
Brandon alerts us to the news that an Indiana prosecutor is threatening to bring criminal charges against Redbox execs if they don’t remove R-rated videos from the kiosks. The claim, of course, is that this makes it easier for those under 17 to access those movies. Of course, that doesn’t explain what’s actually criminal about it. Indiana is among the handful of states that should know this — seeing as politicians there tried to pass a law stopping retailers from selling “mature” video games to kids — but every law of that nature has been thrown out. The current movie rating system is not, in fact, enforced by the government as that would be a restriction on free speech. Instead, it’s a voluntary agreement within the movie industry. In other words, there is no legal issue with these kiosks.
And, of course, the true story behind this threat is found early on in the article. It has nothing to do with “protecting the children” at all. Instead, this is a bunch of independent video rental stores trying to shut down the competition:
“I’m not on a crusade,” said Paul Black, an Evansville attorney who says he suggested the inquiry to Levco’s office on behalf of a client who operates several video store locations. “We’re just looking for a level playing field here.”
That’s not leveling the playing field. It’s trying to block competition — and doing so with bogus charges of criminal behavior.