Retired NFL Vets File Class-Action Lawsuit Against EA for Likenesses in Madden NFL 09
Another lawsuit over player likenesses has been filed against EA, this time pitting over 6,000 retired NFL players against the company in a class-action lawsuit regarding content in Madden NFL 09.
According to IGN UK, the lawsuit claims Madden NFL 09 uses statistics and positions of NFL veterans but, in an effort to circumvent paying licensing fees, EA Sports changed uniform numbers and removed names from the players.
The suit claims that although EA has "scrambled" player numbers in Madden NFL 09's classic rosters, the game is "designed so that consumers of the Madden NFL video game franchise will have no difficulty identifying who the 'historic' players are." The claim also points out that gamers are able to freely edit the names and uniform numbers of players.
In 2009, ex-NCAA quarterback Sam Keller sued EA and the NCAA for the use of his likeness in previous installments of the college football title. Keller claimed the titles featured his name and face, going against NCAA rules which prohibit the commercial licensing of its athletes.
The NFL veteran class-action suit seeks damages associated with the "deprivation and violation of publicity rights."