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EA sued for using name and likeness of NCAA players after leaving college

Radford C. Jul 5, 2012 0

This seems to be nothing new between EA and NCAA players. The players claim EA (along with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Collegiate Licensing Company) violate federal antitrust laws by preventing players from getting paid based off their name and likeness even after leaving college.

Led by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, the players have also accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association, its marketing company and Electronic Arts of violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to force students to sign away their ability to profit commercially from playing college sports.

Despite EA’s licensing agreement with the NCAA, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken recently ruled in California that the license itself does not refute the players’ allegations.

This is a change from Electronic Arts’ previous tussle with NCAA players when it won a dismissal in a case brought originally in 2009 by former Rutgers QB Ryan Hart in New Jersey. In that case, the judge reinforced the idea that video games are artistic works rather than commercial speech – and therefore protected under the First Amendment.

However, in the latest ruling made last March, “improper use of player likeness” in EA Sports sports games have changed the ruling in the plaintiff’s favor. Currently, characters in EA’s NCAA Football games would be permitted along with real life skills and appearance as long as names weren’t used.

What do you think? Are NCAA players entitled to a percentage of profits made by EA even after leaving college?

Via »All Alabama News