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>Rights of Publicity: Its in the game

>The law surrounding an athlete’s right of publicity is fluctuating faster than Brett Favre’s retirement plans, and game companies ought to be paying attention. This week, Sam Keller, a former college quarterback, filed a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Electronic Arts and the NCAA for using college athletes’ images and attributes in EA’s line of NCAA video game titles. The right of publicity is the right of a person to control commercial use of his or her name, image, likeness, or some other identifying aspect of identity. According to the lawsuit, there are close similarities between real-life college athletes and the virtual athletes in EA’s games. “Electronic Arts matches the player’s skin tone, hair color and often even a player’s hair style…” The complaint also alledges that EA’s virtual athletes are depicted with unique accessories, such as wristbands, glasses, visors and… Continue Reading

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