Retirees Suing NFL Over Image Use File Settlement Papers
Retirees suing the NFL for use of their images in NFL Films without their permission filed settlement papers this afternoon with the Minnesota federal court overseeing the case, which was filed in '09. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may address the pending settlement later today. Several high-profile retirees are at the NFL meetings in Arizona, including Jim Brown. The settlement would allow the NFL unfettered use of retirees' images in NFL Films. The new CBA for the first time granted that right, but previous CBAs were murky on the subject. Dan Gustafson, the settlement attorney on the case, is at the NFL meetings.
The settlement includes $42M contributed over eight years to a fund for retirees to cover various needs. Also, the first independent licensing agency dedicated to the use of retired players' publicity rights will be created. The agency will be overseen by a board of retirees and operated apart from the NFL and NFLPA. However, the NFL will offer financial and promotional support. The agency is designed to allow companies easier access to retirees' images. The NFL will be allowed to continue to use retirees' images in historical footage.