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Colts01
08-04-2010, 01:47 AM
Former Bengals running back Tony Davis has filed a class-action suit against EA on behalf of some 6,000 retired NFL pros over the use of player likenesses in Madden NFL 09.

The suit alleges Electronic Arts "knowingly and intentionally" used the retired players' likenesses in such a way to avoid having to pay licensing fees. Plaintiff and former NFL running back Tony Davis contends EA misappropriated the retired players by using their exact player stats and positions from when they were active in the league, including height and weight, but would remove their names and change their uniform numbers.
source.
http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/plugged-in/former-nfl-players-sue-ea-over-madden/1407051

Anybody think these guys should be paid for their likeness being used in a video game?

BuckeyeRidley
08-04-2010, 04:39 AM
Sup Colts.

Yes, I do!! I think that when their likeness is being used that it is only fair to have them compensated for what is being marketed with their image to make money and keep the game interesting.

May they get their money & soon.

ScottDCP
08-04-2010, 09:45 AM
Depends on the contracts they played under. If it contained language that allowed for exploitation of their name and likeness in any and all ancillary markets now or in the future, past the end of their employment in the league, even if those markets do not yet exist, by the team, league, and/or a licensed third party, then the players have no standing. If not, then yes absolutely.

And if EA has a licensing agreement with the league, the players have a legitimate beef with both parties. The changing of numbers even more than the removal of names suggests that neither EA nor NFL was confident on this subject when the licensing agreement was signed, which in turn suggests a little dirty pool.

When I have an active set, nobody, even if you're just deliivering lunch or fixing a plumbing prroblem, can come through the gates without signing a release for use of name, likeness, and voice, forever throughout the known universe in any medium now in existence or yet to be invented, largely for this reason. If I don't have these releases, my ability to get a project disttributed is severely impaired, iif not impossible. If people don't want to sign them, no hard feelings, but please also come no closer. it's possible EA and the NFL are learning this could be a good idea. (I havethe advantage of being in an industry with much more experience in this arena, so it's part of the beginner's handbook)

Pattrick
08-04-2010, 12:39 PM
EA has made a killing on the Madden game franchise, the earlier games like 95,96,97... the retired players and historical teams were hugely popular and I know dozens of people who bought those games just for the opportunity to play as their favorite all time team. I think EA owes it to the retired players to give them something, and not just scraps, something respectable. I also would like to see them work out an agreement and contract to use the names and original numbers. I might be in the minority again but I don't think they knew what was coming down the road in terms of video games and such when players from the 70's and earlier signed their contracts. They really had no idea how far they would have to go to protect their name and image.

Colts01
08-05-2010, 12:55 AM
EA has made a killing on the Madden game franchise, the earlier games like 95,96,97... the retired players and historical teams were hugely popular and I know dozens of people who bought those games just for the opportunity to play as their favorite all time team. I think EA owes it to the retired players to give them something, and not just scraps, something respectable. I also would like to see them work out an agreement and contract to use the names and original numbers. I might be in the minority again but I don't think they knew what was coming down the road in terms of video games and such when players from the 70's and earlier signed their contracts. They really had no idea how far they would have to go to protect their name and image.

Great points Pattrick

Resdog154
08-07-2010, 03:42 AM
Depends on the contracts they played under. If it contained language that allowed for exploitation of their name and likeness in any and all ancillary markets now or in the future, past the end of their employment in the league, even if those markets do not yet exist, by the team, league, and/or a licensed third party, then the players have no standing. If not, then yes absolutely.

And if EA has a licensing agreement with the league, the players have a legitimate beef with both parties. The changing of numbers even more than the removal of names suggests that neither EA nor NFL was confident on this subject when the licensing agreement was signed, which in turn suggests a little dirty pool.

When I have an active set, nobody, even if you're just deliivering lunch or fixing a plumbing prroblem, can come through the gates without signing a release for use of name, likeness, and voice, forever throughout the known universe in any medium now in existence or yet to be invented, largely for this reason. If I don't have these releases, my ability to get a project disttributed is severely impaired, iif not impossible. If people don't want to sign them, no hard feelings, but please also come no closer. it's possible EA and the NFL are learning this could be a good idea. (I havethe advantage of being in an industry with much more experience in this arena, so it's part of the beginner's handbook)

From what I have read, the lawsuit is in regards to the fact that the uniform numbers were changed and stats slightly altered on the players. They claim EA/Madden did this as a way to circumvent having to pay them royalties. This short article sums it up pretty well http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/08/02/29255.htm

FessJL0861
09-07-2010, 07:34 PM
Like Scott said, this is all dependent on the contracts at the time, and whether they unknowingly released their likeness. If it was unknowing, I would think that a jury or judge would write them into royalties. If it was "in the know" that they were declining, than they shouldn't get a penny.

Phil McConkey
09-07-2010, 08:07 PM
This is the second lawsuit filed again EA Sports. The first one ended with a 26MM award to retired players. The judge accepted evidence that showed the NFL Players Association conspired with EA Sports to conceal the true identity of the retired players so they wouldn't have to pay them. And this is suppose to be the union that represents retired players.

FessJL0861
09-07-2010, 09:36 PM
This is the second lawsuit filed again EA Sports. The first one ended with a 26MM award to retired players. The judge accepted evidence that showed the NFL Players Association conspired with EA Sports to conceal the true identity of the retired players so they wouldn't have to pay them. And this is suppose to be the union that represents retired players.

Jeez man I never knew about the first. Yeah, with that knowledge, the Union looks like crap. When was that first one filed and won Phil?

Phil McConkey
09-07-2010, 09:49 PM
Not sure of the exact dates Fess, but we received the first installment already and the second, and final one, is due in OCT.
No one should be surprised since Gene Upshaw, regarding retired players, once said, "I don't work for them, I only work for the active players".

FessJL0861
09-07-2010, 10:02 PM
So it was in the Upshaw era. I hate to kick dirt here, but that is pretty shady. Did you guys get any counsel about what the video game industry had in store for your name and likeness? You know, that would be a really good article. I would like to hear that from a player-business standpoint.

Phil McConkey
09-07-2010, 10:54 PM
We though our counsel was the players association that was suppose to be looking out for us when we signed the licenses, year after year. The video game industry was just following orders, the association wanted ALL the royalties to go to the current players and nothing to the retired players. That is what is so frustrating for many of the guys, it's not like anyone is asking for a handout, just what is rightfully ours. And please don't get me started on how it's almost impossible for guys to get disability even though they are practically crippled due to old injuries.

msclemons
09-07-2010, 10:58 PM
One problem with many unions is that non-members don't pay dues so their concerns aren't heard (An infamous quote from the California Teachers Association union leader: "students don't pay union dues"). Retired players don't pay dues and it seems the union leadership only cares about the money coming in. With some notable exceptions of course.

I'm guessing current players are just too young to have the foresight to force the union to think about retired players?

Turk Schonert
09-07-2010, 11:09 PM
One problem with many unions is that non-members don't pay dues so their concerns aren't heard (An infamous quote from the California Teachers Association union leader: "students don't pay union dues"). Retired players don't pay dues and it seems the union leadership only cares about the money coming in. With some notable exceptions of course.

I'm guessing current players are just too young to have the foresight to force the union to think about retired players?

We pay dues (by choice) but not to the NFLPA.

msclemons
09-07-2010, 11:21 PM
There's a retired players union? That's good to hear but do they have much clout with the league or only in courtrooms?

FessJL0861
09-10-2010, 05:00 PM
We pay dues (by choice) but not to the NFLPA.

Great question Clem. To whom and to what length do they go Turk?

SpartaChris
09-11-2010, 03:11 AM
Depends on the contracts they played under. If it contained language that allowed for exploitation of their name and likeness in any and all ancillary markets now or in the future, past the end of their employment in the league, even if those markets do not yet exist, by the team, league, and/or a licensed third party, then the players have no standing. If not, then yes absolutely.

And if EA has a licensing agreement with the league, the players have a legitimate beef with both parties. The changing of numbers even more than the removal of names suggests that neither EA nor NFL was confident on this subject when the licensing agreement was signed, which in turn suggests a little dirty pool.

When I have an active set, nobody, even if you're just deliivering lunch or fixing a plumbing prroblem, can come through the gates without signing a release for use of name, likeness, and voice, forever throughout the known universe in any medium now in existence or yet to be invented, largely for this reason. If I don't have these releases, my ability to get a project disttributed is severely impaired, iif not impossible. If people don't want to sign them, no hard feelings, but please also come no closer. it's possible EA and the NFL are learning this could be a good idea. (I havethe advantage of being in an industry with much more experience in this arena, so it's part of the beginner's handbook)

OT, but tell me more. What do you do?

SpartaChris
09-11-2010, 03:17 AM
This is the second lawsuit filed again EA Sports. The first one ended with a 26MM award to retired players. The judge accepted evidence that showed the NFL Players Association conspired with EA Sports to conceal the true identity of the retired players so they wouldn't have to pay them. And this is suppose to be the union that represents retired players.

Since I admittedly know nothing about how the marketing deals work, how did the NFLPA benefit from this? Were they compensated by EA for the use of the player likenesses?

Either way, that's jacked up. So much for union solidarity, eh?

FessJL0861
09-11-2010, 03:26 AM
This thread put the union in even more bad light. I don't understand why it isn't getting any press.