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In the USA, measures to outlaw sales of mature-rated games to minors have failed repeatedly on constitutional grounds (maybe someone needs to seek a constitutional amendment for that, rather than just wasting money on laws that will be overturned as unlawful).

Over in the UK, though, the Video Recordings Act(1984) restricts the sales of mature-rated videos and video games to minors. Except… whoops! It doesn’t!

Like in Australia, the UK’s classification system is mandatory, and the Act provides for a number of offenses related to bypassing the ratings system (selling, trading, or importing unrated content), storage of unrated materials, or the sale of unrated or mature-rated materials to minors.

Only, 25 years ago, the Act did not properly get enacted, due to the failure to follow-through on an EU reporting requirement, and thus carries no legal force.

Police and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are to be told to stop bringing any prosecutions until the Government brings in emergency legislation to re-enact the 1984 Video Recordings Act. Until then people will be able to sell videos, including violent and pornographic ones, to under-18s without fear of prosecution. – Times Online

(Including video games)

Obviously, everyone’s scrambling to have the Act properly enacted now.

Also, since everyone thought the Act was properly enacted, legal advice suggests that no prosecution under the faulty legislation can be considered wrongful or overturned.

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