Electronic Arts

News & Analysis as of

Cyberlaw: Of Athletes And Video Games

Can a video game company use an athlete’s likeness in a game without his or her permission? The answer is maybe. The Ninth Circuit recently rejected Jim Brown’s Lanham Act Section 43 claim against Electronic Arts, Inc....more

Jury’s Verdict in Madden Football Copyright Case Overturned

We previously reported on Robin Antonick’s copyright claim against Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”) over the software for the Apple II John Madden Football game. Antonick didn’t have a copy of his original source code at the time...more

NCAA’s Battle Continues in the Fight Over Who Should Pay for the Use of Student-Athlete Likenesses

Since 2009, former student-athletes have been litigating the issue of whether the apparent commodification of student-athlete likenesses in video games entitles the athletes to compensation. Defendants in these lawsuits...more

When Does the Right of Publicity Trump a Video Game Maker’s First Amendment Rights?

On September 24, 2013, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”) reached a $40 million dollar settlement of lawsuits over the use of college athletes’ likenesses in EA’s popular college football video game series NCAA Football. EA also...more

Balancing Freedom Of Expression And The Right Of Publicity: Implications For The Future Of Interactive Entertainment

Freedom of expression bowed to the right of publicity on July 31, 2013, when a divided panel at the Ninth Circuit ruled that college athletes could proceed in litigation against Electronic Arts (“EA”) for making sports-based...more

October 2013: Sports Litigation Update - Athletes Prevail in Right of Publicity Suits Against Video Game Designer

Two federal appellate courts held this summer that the First Amendment does not insulate video game maker Electronic Arts (“EA”) from right of publicity suits brought by football players whose likenesses it used as part of...more

Madden Football Copyright Verdict Under Booth Review

Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), owner of the $4 billion John Madden Football videogame franchise, thought it had a pretty good defense when Robin Antonick filed suit in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California,...more

Ninth Circuit Fumbles The Ball In Videogame Likeness Cases

Creating a new rule that gives videogames much more limited protection than other expressive works, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that realistically depicting college athletes in videogames showing them doing what they became...more

The right of publicity in college sports

The sports-media industry has recently experienced a proliferation of litigation involving right-of-publicity claims asserted by student-athletes for the unauthorized use of their names, images and likenesses. The most highly...more

Evolving Case Law on the Fair Use of Famous Trademarks in Video Games

A recent spate of cases has generally upheld, on First Amendment grounds, a developer’s right to include unlicensed trademarks in video games. However, until the body of case law becomes so prevalent that trademark owners...more

Advertising Law -- Aug 15, 2013

FTC Updates COPPA Guidance - As promised, the Federal Trade Commission has provided additional updates to its Frequently Asked Questions guidance regarding the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule which took...more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- August 9, 2013

Brown v. Electronic Arts, Inc., USCA, Ninth Circuit, July 31, 2013 - Ninth Circuit affirms dismissal of NFL great Jim Brown’s Lanham Act claim against video game developer Electronic Arts, Inc., concluding that Rogers...more

Three Point Shot - Summer 2013

With very special thanks to our summer associates Elizabeth Horan (Case Western), Erica Esposito (Harvard), Joshua Espinosa (NYU), Bryce Johnston (Georgetown), Ryan Harris (NYU), and Alex Rosen (Harvard), the Proskauer Sports...more

Litigation Alert: Ninth Circuit Assesses Use of Player Likenesses in Video Games

On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, the Ninth Circuit issued two opinions assessing the parameters of use of individual player likenesses in video games in two highly watched cases...more

Jim Brown's Right Of Publicity Claim Revived By Keller Victory On Appeal

A Ninth Circuit panel decision issued on July 31, 2013, has revived NFL legend Jim Brown's state law right of publicity claims against video game maker Electronic Arts, Inc. ("EA"). Back in March 2009, Brown filed an action...more

Electronic Arts Fumbles in Lawsuit Brought by College Athletes (again)

College sports is big business. Student-athletes generate truckloads of cash for their schools, but are prohibited by NCAA rules from sharing in the haul. In fact, if the student-athlete learns that someone is commercially...more

Football & Free Speech: Third Circuit Vidgame Decision Has Broader Implications for Reality-Based Works

42, 127 Hours, Act of Valor, Argo, Dolphin Tale, Fair Game, Green Zone, I Love You Philip Morris, Moneyball, People Like Us, Sanctum, Secretariat, Soul Surfer, The Bling Ring, The Fighter, The Runaways, The Whistleblower,...more

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