NCAA/EA Video Games Name and Likeness Litigation
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro filed a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and Electronic Arts, Inc. claiming the companies illegally use college football and basketball players' names and likenesses in video games without permission or consent from the player.
The suit claims using a player's name, picture or likeness violates contracts and licensing agreements in NCAA bylaws. Despite these prohibitions, the NCAA allegedly condones the use of players's name and likeness in EA games to increase popularity and ultimately increase revenues and profits, the suit claims.
Players claim the NCAA and EA conspired to permit the use of NCAA players for their own monetary gain and without compensation to players. In contrast, Electronic Arts paid the NFL Players Union nearly $35 million each year for the use of players' names and likenesses in NFL games.
The name and likeness litigation suit was filed by Sam Keller, a former starting quarterback for ASU and Univ. of Nebraska football teams, represents all NCAA football and basketball players listed on the official opening-day roster of a school whose team was included in any game produced by Electronic Arts, and whose assigned jersey number appears on a virtual player in the software.
Samuel Keller et al. v. Electronic Arts Inc. et al, case number 4:09-cv-01967
O'Bannon Jr. et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association et al., case number 4:09-cv-03329
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