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Author Topic: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players  (Read 1824 times)

Madkill

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EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« on: August 04, 2010, 03:44:32 AM »
Electronic Arts has been slapped with a class action lawsuit on behalf of roughly 6000 former NFL players over its "misappropriation" of their likenesses in Madden NFL 09.

Filed by former NFL running back Tony Davis on behalf of "all other similarly situated retired National Football League football players," the suit contends that EA made unauthorized use of retired NFL players in the form of "historic teams" which featured each player's "position, years in the NFL, approximate height and weight, as well as each player's relative skill level in different aspects of the game."

EA attempted to avoid paying licensing fees to use the likenesses of retired players, the suit contends, by changing their numbers and other "trivial" aspects, but made the players "so close to the living player's characteristics that the consumers of the game could readily discern what player was being represented. Indeed, the value of 'historic teams' to consumers of Madden NFL depended on the composition of the teams being true to actual historical fact."

Furthermore, the suit claims that while the jersey numbers of retired players are "scrambled" and their names aren't used, the game allows players to edit the historic team rosters to add the missing information. "EA further encouraged users of the Madden videogame to use the historic rosters by, among other things, in some games allowing users to achieve certain milestones in the game to unlock and use historic rosters for a reward for excelling at the game," the suit says.

As usual in such cases, the plaintiffs seek "actual damages, statutory damages, punitive damages and other such relief," as well as "disgorgement of profits," legal fees and whatever else a jury decides they're entitled to.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the NFL, the NFL Players Association and various retired players have been dancing a litigational waltz for some time now over licensing rights in videogames, specifically the Madden NFL series. In 2008, the NFLPA was hit with a class action suit by a group of retired players over the licensing deal it signed with EA Sports, which was "significantly below market rate" and ultimately muscled 2K Sports out of the NFL business.

In April 2009, EA said the ongoing disputes were "between the retired players and their union" and denied that it was directly involved, but obviously that's no longer the case. The company told IGN that it doesn't comment on pending litigation, but the suit can be read in full right here. (PDF format)


Source~


If ever something to smile or laugh at, it just has to be a branch of EA getting 'sacked'. :P
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JayRoe

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 12:00:07 PM »
Poor athletes, they get paid sums the rest of us can't even fathom and the second they aren't paid for the hard work of others, they start whining.
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Grelot

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 01:58:59 PM »
Poor athletes, they get paid sums the rest of us can't even fathom and the second they aren't paid for the hard work of others, they start whining.
win

Moggle

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 08:53:06 PM »
Well, I find it to be an interesting situation. Many of these older, retired NFL players weren't payed like the modern player is. Nor were they cut into deals for royalties on their likenesses from videogames like any other player over the past several years. So, every time some chump pays for a new copy of Madden, a current player gets a small piece of the action. Several million small pieces ends up being a substantial chunk of change. 

Are these old guys whiny douchebags? Yeah. But that doesn't mean that they aren't entitled to a little bit of the profits that the last few generations of players have gotten, given that EA has used their likenesses.
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Mazza

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 09:22:14 PM »
Some of those athletes made shit-tons more money in a few years than a factory worker will make in his entire freaking life. Does that seem right to you? Pulling shit like this does not make me sympathetic. If they save money for their future, something you learn with a fucking piggy bank when you're 5, then they'd be able to live a more than respectable life without lifting a finger. Having to get a job after your career isn't something they should weep over either, everyone needs to contribute to society.
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Moggle

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 09:28:11 PM »
But the point isn't really how much money these guys may or may not have made. If a company used your likeness without permission, and made a shitload of money off of it, wouldn't you want some sort of compensation? I'm generally fairly apathetic to this sort of thing, and I'm telling you that I definitely would. If simply for the principle of the thing. But a little bit of money never hurts, either.

The least EA could have done is gone and asked permission from these old bastards. The vast, vast majority of them would have licensed their likenesses for pennies on the dollar. So who's the real greedy assholes here? EA or the retired players? The answer isn't exactly black and white.
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Mazza

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 10:27:14 PM »
I'm of the opinion that anything older than 12 years should automatically become public domain. Likenesses of public figures included.
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JayRoe

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 12:53:40 PM »
Obviously both sides consist of assholes.

As for the likeness, I don't see why you should pay for that. Should I pay a royalty fee to make a joke about a chubby baseball player named Rape Buth?
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I have a feeling that Frank is one of those kids whose mom tried to abort him in the womb with a dirty clothes hanger and failed, but not before poking him a few times through his soft, developing skull.

Moggle

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2010, 06:34:37 PM »
Probably, JayRoe. Probably. Send that royalty to the Joe DiMaggio estate.
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Madkill

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2010, 02:03:27 PM »
I'm of the opinion that anything older than 12 years should automatically become public domain. Likenesses of public figures included.

Two 6 year old girls become public domain too, eh?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 04:42:31 PM by [MadkillXL »
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md phd esquire

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Re: EA Sports Gets Sacked by Retired NFL Players
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2011, 07:23:07 AM »
Like most professional athletes, nfl players end up going bankrupt.  Being good in a sport doesn't make you a financial wizard, or able to count for that matter.
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