Intangible thoughts, ideas, and messages contained within games, movies, and Web site materials are not products for purposes of strict products liability, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky held last month in dismissing strict liability as well as negligence and RICO charges against Internet, video game, and motion picture defendants in a suit springing from the shooting deaths of plaintiffs’ daughters (James v. Meow Media, D. Ky., No. 5:99CV-96-J, 4/6/00).

On the morning of Dec. 1, 1997, Michael Carneal, then 14 years of age, took six guns, including a pistol, to the Heath High School in McCracken County, Ky. Carneal waited for a daily voluntary student prayer session to end. He then shot Jessica James, Kayce Steger, and Nicole Hadley, all three of whom were members of the prayer group, to death. He wounded five others.

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