30 passed: iMEGA, US DoJ Await Judge Cooper’s Decision on UIGEA Challenge

27 October 2007

31 days since iMEGA went before Judge Mary L. Cooper in US District Court (3rd District/Trenton, NJ division) to make oral arguments in support of our request for a temporary restraining order versus the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and to contest the motion to dismiss by the US Dept. of Justice, et al. It was our hope that we would see a decision from Judge Cooper before day’s end.

We do recognize, though, that it is up to the discretion of a Federal judge as to how long they wish to take to render a decision. So, though the court said “30 days”, Judge Cooper can and should take as long as she feels is necessary to provide a fully-considered decision.

Frankly, we feel that it is a good sign that Judge Cooper is taking her time. We believe it confirms iMEGA’s suit is not a “nuisance suit” – one lacking in merit – which would likely have been dismissed immediately.

Also, with the introduction of the draft of UIGEA’s regulations by the Dept. of the Treasury and Federal Reserve since our day in court, there is no indication from the court of how this may weigh on Judge Cooper’s process. Our legal team has been in contact with the US Dept. of Justice attorneys, and both sides have stipulated that the draft regulations be entered into the record.

Obviously, we hope that Judge Cooper will grant our motion today, and set us up for a full evidentiary hearing, so that we may demonstrate that UIGEA is a bad law on two counts:

  1. It is an egregious violation of Americans’ “digital civil rights”, in that we should enjoy the same freedoms online that we enjoy in the real world.
  2. UIGEA is functionally a bad law. In an effort to protect minors, gambling addicts, and American players from fraud, UIGEA instead – by removing the banks and credit card companies, along with the safeguards they employ every day – has in fact made those groups more vulnerable.

What is most important to iMEGA is that this law is overturned, so that Americans’ digital civil rights are preserved, and that this bad law does not become a precedent for targeted attacks on other popular Internet entertainment categories.

Americans should and must preserve their right to choose what activities they wish to enjoy online, in the privacy of their homes, in their own free time.  Laws have already been proposed that would target other Internet mainstays like social networking, online dating, video games and much more.

Watch here for the decision from the Honorable Judge Cooper. As our resources in Washington say, “The outcome I am sure is going to be an answer that the iMEGA and the rest of the Internet will want to hear. Inside surely is looking good at this point.”

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