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EA's Appeal For Full-Court Hearing In Ryan Hart Case Rejected

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday turned down a request from EA to have the full court hear its appeal of a recent adverse ruling in favor of former Rutgers QB Ryan Hart suing over the alleged improper use of his image. Last month, a three-judge panel overturned a lower court decision dismissing Hart’s case against EA. Hart alleges his image was used in the video game maker’s products without his permission and the case is set now to proceed in the lower court.

EA earlier this month filed a petition to have the case heard before the whole circuit court, known as an en banc appeal. Several major media companies filed briefs supporting EA’s appeals, including Dow Jones, ESPN and Advance Publications. Advance is the corporate parent company of THE DAILY.

The Third Circuit notice turning down the appeal noted two judges, Thomas Ambro and Julio Fuentes, supported the appeal. The motion did not say how many judges turned down the appeal. The court’s web site lists 25 judges. EA, which contends the use of Hart’s and other collegians’ images in its video games are protected by the First Amendment, could appeal to the Supreme Court. It could also await the outcome of two similar cases brought against it by Pro Football HOFer Jim Brown and former Arizona State QB Sam Keller, currently waiting decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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