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EA pays retired NFL star Jim Brown $600,000 for using his likeness in Madden without permission

Brown's lawyer believes the settlement 'marks an important victory' for cases revolving around publicity rights. 


Electronic Arts has agreed to pay retired NFL player Jim Brown a settlement of $600,000 in response to his allegations that the publisher/developer used his likeness in Madden NFL without permission.

Brown, who played for the Cleveland Browns as a fullback from 1957 through 1965, filed a claim against EA back in 2008, when a then-current version of Madden NFL featured a running back exhibited a similar physical build and statistical breakdown.

A judge scraped the case a year later, stating that EA was allowed to create characters based on celebrities. Brown's legal team appealed, and the two sides went back and forth until a settlement was reached this week.

"Big business should think twice before it turns players' hard-won identities and achievements into merchandise without permission or compensation," said Brown's attorney Robert Carey (viaGameSpot) in regards to the outcome of the case.

Carey stated that the outcome of the suit "marks an important victory" for similar publicity-rights cases.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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