Retired NFL Players Get Green Light for Lawsuit Against EA

March 30, 2012 -

The lawsuit filed against Electronic Arts by retired NFL players is moving forward. A California judge has rejected EA's motion to have the case dismissed. The suit, filed by several retired NFL players wants it to turn into a class action so that some 6,000 defendants can be represented. The lawsuit alleges that EA through its EA Sports brand used their likenesses without consent in multiple Madden NFL games over the years. Electronic Arts argues that it is basically fair use and that real names were never used. EA also claims protection under the First Amendment as well as California law.

Several of EA's Madden Games feature historic teams that use stats, attributes and other factors for fantasy players that are close to the real-life counterparts.

The NFL players behind the lawsuit are Tony Davis from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Vince Ferragamo from the LA Rams and Billy Joe DuPree from the Dallas Cowboys. They are seeking damages and all profits related to the use of their likenesses by EA.

Source: Games Industry International, image provided by Shutterstock.com.


Comments

Re: Retired NFL Players Get Green Light for Lawsuit Against EA

I hope they don't settle. I hope it goes to court and EA loses. There needs to be a precedent for companies not to do this stuff.

-Mrxknown_JG-

Re: Retired NFL Players Get Green Light for Lawsuit Against EA

i thought fair use was for no profit or parody... not clear direct use and sales pitches...

Re: Retired NFL Players Get Green Light for Lawsuit Against EA

Not necessarily.  Documentaries, news programs, and the like are allowed to use a limited amount of copyrighted footage of public figures in the interest of presenting historical and factual data.  That's likely the argument that EA will use, though I think it's a pretty big stretch in their case and I don't give them good odds of winning on those claims.  More likely they'll settle.

 
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