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(iMEGA) Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming

By: Rick Balding, Tuesday July 7th 2009
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The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, more popularly known by its acronym iMEGA was founded in 2007. Its objective was to foster the continued growth and innovation of the Internet. The Internet, being a new medium, faced considerable challenges from the Federal and State governments. This was exemplified by the passing of the UIGEA, which prohibited Internet gambling. The UIGEA provided an immediate impetus for the setting up of iMEGA. iMEGA is a not-for-profit corporation with its headquarters in Washington DC. It is headed by Joe Brennan Jr. as its Chairman. Brennan has an admirable record of Internet related work including as a Director of AOL.

iMEGA offers a two pronged initiative in the fulfillment of its objective. It tries to block legislation unfavorable to the Internet as a free medium and backs legislation that favors the use of the Internet as a free medium. When unfavorable legislation is unfortunately passed or any government initiates action detrimental to service providers on the Internet, iMEGA does not hesitate to go to court. For this iMEGA has established a legal fund and employs the best legal counsels available. Some of the issues that iMEGA is involved in with regards to the use of the Internet are freedom to use the Internet, privacy and security, right to publish content, commerce and taxation and ethics in the use of the Internet.

In no other field of the Internet has iMEGA made an impact as much as it has made in relation to Internet gambling. When the UIGEA was passed iMEGA immediately challenged it in the court in Philadelphia. One of the main reasons propounded by iMEGA was that the act was too vague to be implemented without ambiguity. Though the case went against iMEGA, it won a landmark ruling. The Department of Justice had challenged iMEGA’s standing to represent the Internet gambling industry. The court however held it valid for iMEGA to represent Internet gaming operators. This ruling proved very useful in subsequent cases that iMEGA has taken up on behalf of the Internet gambling industry. iMEGA has filed an appeal in this case in the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which is slated for hearing on July 7, 2009. iMEGA is also playing a major role in the Kentucky domain name seizure case. The state of Kentucky obtained a court order to seize the domain names of several Internet gaming operators. The argument was that domain names are illegal gambling devices under Kentucky law. iMEGA went to court against this order on behalf of the gaming operators. It lost in the lower court but won in the appeals court. The matter is now before the Kentucky Supreme Court. One case in which the iMEGA has registered a success is the Minnesota case. The state of Minnesota through the Department of Public Safety had ordered the Internet Service Providers in the state to block the web sites of certain Internet gaming operators. IMEGA intervened on behalf of these gaming operators and managed to affect an out of court settlement with the state of Minnesota. iMEGA convinced the state that their action was legally untenable and therefore the order to block the web sites of the gaming operators was dropped.

Learn more about the The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA) by visiting their website here: http://www.imega.org/

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Comment by: Hero On: July 07, 2009
I've seen on several sites these days that these guys are doing their part to try to make headway for the regulation of gaming in the United States. This is great and I must commend them on their efforts!

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