EA To Argue Two Cases Involving Player Images In Appeals Court
Electronic Arts will argue two cases at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today, the latest in a series of lawsuits brought against the game maker for using athletes' images without their consent. In the most high-profile case, former college football QB Sam Keller is contending EA used his image without his consent. The major sports unions have joined him in his case and will have five minutes to argue for him in addition to his 15 minutes. EA is appealing a lower court ruling declining to dismiss the case.
Pro Football HOFer Jim Brown will also be heard in his lawsuit against the game maker. His case was dismissed at the lower court level, but he appealed with a different contention, that EA violated Brown’s trademark. In each case, EA is invoking first amendment protections. Brown’s lawyer, Ron Katz of Manatt Phelps, said, “What's at stake, in my opinion, is whether video games can increase their profits by ripping off players.”