EA wins NCAA player lawsuit

A lawsuit against Electronic Arts over the likeness of a former NCAA football player has been dismissed in court.

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Electronic Arts had a lot at stake if it had lost a lawsuit against a former Rutgers University quarterback. According to estimates, the company could have lost a billion dollars. That's a lot of zeroes. Still, EA seemed to take it lightly. "We could lose billions more if a giant meteor hits the earth," EA spokesman Jeff Brown said back then. "We're not planning for either outcome."

Brown had reason for such a confident response. EA has won the lawsuit, and Earth hasn't been struck by a giant meteor.

The original suit claimed that EA had used Ryan Hart's likeness in NCAA Football without his permission. In EA's defense, it wasn't Hart, but someone with his general appearance and similar stats. With video games officially protected by first amendment rights, the judge ruled that EA was within its bounds.

EA lawyer Elizabeth McNamara told Reuters (via Gamasutra) that the ruling "validates Electronic Arts' rights to create and publish its expressive works."

However, Hart's lawyer Tim McIlwain called the decision "a major disappointment," and says that he plans on appealing the decision. "Millions of dollars are being made, and he's not getting his part of that pot. How is this allowed to happen?"

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 9, 2011 3:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, EA wins NCAA player lawsuit.

    A lawsuit against Electronic Arts over the likeness of a former NCAA football player has been dismissed in court.

    • reply
      September 9, 2011 4:04 PM

      Good.

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      September 9, 2011 4:27 PM

      "Millions of dollars are being made, and he's not getting his part of that pot. How is this allowed to happen?"

      how has he earned his pot?... he didn't do anything to earn his share. just being born with talent doesn't mean the world owes you anything.

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        September 9, 2011 5:24 PM

        He earned his pot by being a talented athlete who's image has obviously been assigned some value by EA which used it in order to sell their game.

        Now that said it's really the fucking assholes at the NCAA that are to blame for this bullshit since they're the ones that deal with the licensing. In this case the potential liability would be too big and that probably played a factor in the judge's decision.

        Lol at this quote 'that the ruling "validates Electronic Arts' rights to create and publish its expressive works."' Expressive!!! wtf, this isn't artistic expression it's simulated college football and the guys face is probably a worked photo of him.

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      September 9, 2011 5:29 PM

      Yet.

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      September 10, 2011 1:56 PM

      Was he out of college before he his, "likeness" appeared in the game? If so he should be suing the school and not EA. If he was still in college he doesn't have a candle to hold. Sad to say. The college owns all your rights as a player.

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      September 12, 2011 2:26 AM

      "Brown had reason for such a confident response. EA has won the lawsuit, and Earth hasn't been struck by a giant meteor." Pulitzer material here, folks.

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