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Volume 24 No. 117
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Muhammad Ali Enterprises Sues Fox After Late Boxer's Likeness Used During Super Bowl LI

Muhammad Ali Enterprises is suing Fox Broadcasting for $30M because of the "unauthorized use of the legendary boxer's identity in a video that aired" before the net's broadcast of Super Bowl LI in February, according to Jon Lafayette of BROADCASTING & CABLE. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, charges that Fox used "actual video of Ali, along with his slogans, including The Greatest and the Louisville Lip to say that like the fighter, the Super Bowl winner can claim to be the greatest." The suit "seeks punitive damages, attorney's fees and costs, a permanent injunction requiring Fox to refrain from any use of Ali's identity without prior authorization from Muhammad Ali Enterprises, and an order requiring Fox to delete all copies of the video" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 10/10). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Eriq Gardner noted in suing over publicity rights in Illinois, the plaintiff is "looking to score a similar success as Michael Jordan," who a couple years ago won $8.9M in damages after now-defunct Chicago-based grocery store Dominick's "took out an advertisement in Sports Illustrated congratulating him" on his Basketball HOF induction. Frederick Sperling, who handled Jordan's case, is the "lead attorney representing Muhammad Ali Enterprises." Fox' potential defenses include "nominative fair use" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 10/10).