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A roundup of the latest high-tech news “Hot Off the Wire” from The Associated Press and Local Tech Wire:
• ESA spends $1.2M on lobbying
WASHINGTON — The , a trade group for video game companies, spent $1.2 million during the first quarter to lobby on the regulation of video game content, First Amendment protection, copyright enforcement and other issues, according to a recent disclosure report.
This is up 23 percent from $980,000 spent in the same quarter a year earlier and even with the amount it spent in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The group, whose members include Microsoft Corp., Disney Interactive Studios Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Nintendo of America, among others, also lobbied on piracy, industry ratings and immigration.
The ESA opposes efforts to regulate the content of entertainment media, including the creation of government-sanctioned ratings systems. The video game industry has its own ratings system run by the nonprofit Entertainment Software Rating Board, which was established in 1994 by the ESA.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a California case that pits free speech rights against a state law, which never took effect, banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.
• Motorola reduces lobbying expense
WASHINGTON — Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), the maker of cell phones and other telecommunications equipment, spent $850,000 in the first quarter to lobby the federal government on cell phone taxes, health care reform and other issues, according to a disclosure report.
That’s down from the $1.47 million that Motorola spent in the year-ago period, and from the $1.07 million it spent in the fourth quarter of 2009. Motorola also lobbied the federal government on legislation involving Haiti reconstruction efforts, the importation of minerals from conflict-riven countries and police and military radio projects, according to the report filed on April 20.
In the January to March period, the Motorola lobbied Congress, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation, according to the report filed with the House clerk’s office.
• Adobe cuts spending on lobbying
WASHINGTON — Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) spent $50,000 in the first quarter to lobby federal officials on tax credits, cybersecurity, patent reform and other issues, according to a disclosure report.
That was less than the $150,000 it spent in the same period a year earlier. The San Jose, Calif., software company spent $70,000 lobbying in the fourth quarter of last year.
Adobe also lobbied on the White House’s Open Government Directive – rules directing agencies to take immediate and specific steps to open their operations to the public. It lobbied in support of personal data privacy and security legislation and in support of extending a research and development tax credit for companies. And it lobbied in support of a patent reform bill.
The agencies Adobe lobbied January through March include Congress, the Executive Office of the President, Department of Treasury and the State Department, according to the form it filed April 20 with the House clerk’s office