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.