Former Oakland Raider: Many ex-NFLers Depicted in Madden without Permission

December 3, 2008 -

The fallout continues from last month's $28 million federal court verdict which ruled that the NFL players union scewed retired players out of licensing revenue from the best-selling Madden NFL game.

It's a bit complicated, but the short version is that the union (NFLPA) gave retired players the option to sign onto a group licensing authorization (GLA) by which Electronic Arts was entitled to use their image for Madden's classic teams. The retirees, however, alleged that they never received any payments based on Madden. The money went to active players, instead.

Yesterday, former Oakland Raider Dave Pear, a veteran of the silver-and-black's 1980 Super Bowl-winning squad, maintained that the NFLPA continually overinflated the number of players who actually signed the GLAs. At its worst, according to Pear, the NFLPA 's 2007 annual report claims that more than 2,900 retirees authorized their image to be used while court records obtained from last month's trial show that only 22 retired players actually signed a GLA that year. Pear writes:

Does this mean that any players who hadn’t signed a GLA or been included in the list can now sue Electronic Arts directly for copyright infringement if their images were used in their Madden video games without their permission? And does it also mean that the retired players who were excluded from signing GLA’s have been misrepresented by their union, the NFLPA?

While EA is not a defendant in the case, which is under appeal, Madden revenues were by far the largest economic point of contention. If EA has a potential problem going forward, it could be with retired players who never signed the GLA yet were portrayed in Madden. As GamePolitics has reported, the NFLPA conspired with EA to "scramble" the images of retired players. A critical piece of evidence in the recent federal court trial was an e-mail message from former NFLPA exec LaShun Lawson to Madden producer Jeremy Strauser:

For all retired players that are not listed... their identity must be altered so that it cannot be recognized [by Madden players]... Hence, any and all players not listed... cannot be represented in Madden 2002 with the number that player actually wore, and must be scrambled.


Comments

Re: Former Oakland Raider: Many ex-NFLers Depicted in Madden

Greed pure and simple from EA, not the players.

Football players havn't always gotten paid the millions they do today.  In fact they used to get paid shit for how brutal teh game used to be.  Now its become more about drama than competition and more about satefty than football.

And as a dedicated NFL fan I memorize the legendary teams by these things.  The year the played, the possition they played, the number on their jersey and how they won it all.  Scramble the names, hell scramble the numbers if you want.  I'll always remember that the starting defense for the Steelers durring Superbowl X was L.C. Greenwood(DE), Dwight White(DE) Joe Greene(DT), Ernie Holmes(DT), Jack Ham(OLB), Andy Russell(OLB), Jack Lambert(MLB), J.T. Thomas(CB), Mel Blount(BB) Glen Edwards(SS) and Mike Wagner(FS).

I wasn't around durring that time but I've read and heard so much about them I know.  The current Steelers Defense is playing incredibly well and even if they don't go to the Superbowl this year I'll remember them even better as Brett Keisel(DE), Casey Hampton(NT), Aaron Smith(DE), James 'Silverback' Harrison(OLB), James Farrior(MLB), Larry Foote(MLB), Lamar Woodley(OLB), Deshae Townsend(CB), Ike Taylor(CB), Ryan Clark(FS) and Troy Polamalu(SS) [Lawrence Timmons is one beast of a backup LB and William Gay and Bryant McFadden are excellent CBs]

Basically what I'm saying is you can scramble the names and numbers all you want, but people will know who is supposed to be there.  And as a NFL fan I think its a shame what EA is doing.

Re: Former Oakland Raider: Many ex-NFLers Depicted in Madden

Personally I don't know why players get into such a pickle about this.  They're famous players - their names and faces SHOULD be on games and bloody hell, if it was me, I'd be PROUD of having my name and image in a game.  This is just players with million dollar salaries showing that they're all about the money.  Greed, pure and simple.

If they wanted to be anonymous they should have taken up accountancy, refuse collection or draughtsmanship.

What next - are we goinmg to have WW2 vets whining about their names and images being used in a WW2 game?  These games are homages to the people involved.

Re: Former Oakland Raider: Many ex-NFLers Depicted in Madden

I really how those guys sue...  I just want to see EA squirm...

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Andrew EisenI'd love to but I'm at work. But once I get home... I'm going to work out for a while. But after THAT... I'm going to shower. Then eat. Then prep tomorrow's meals. And THEN play video games! YEAH!!!07/31/2015 - 8:38pm
Big Permlol, ya'll are still going back and forth? Take a break and play some video games07/31/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenGoth - Are you using "cabal" to describe a group of writers or to suggest they all worked together in secret to publish those articles?07/31/2015 - 8:30pm
Andrew EisenMatt - That doesn't disprove the general premise of the various articles as that's not what they're about. Unless, again, he's talking about a different batch of articles.07/31/2015 - 8:28pm
Goth_SkunkThe difference between one voice being offensive and a cabal being offensive.07/31/2015 - 8:22pm
MechaCrashFunny how "you're offended, so what" flips into "we're offended, retract everything and apologize."07/31/2015 - 8:18pm
MattsworknameIts not the only argument he points out ,its just one of them07/31/2015 - 8:06pm
Mattsworknameidea that Gamers as the articel puts it, the "White male sterotype are dead, essentially was compltely false07/31/2015 - 8:03pm
MattsworknameThe video actually shows that the shaw study actually disproves the Premise of the artices by showing that the "Gamer" dentity, has no actual meaning to thsoe who use it other then "I play games", its not connected to race, gender, or orientation. So the07/31/2015 - 8:01pm
Andrew EisenWith the exception of a brief mention in Golding's Tumbr post. Even so, he's talking about gamer identity, not desire for diversity in gaming.07/31/2015 - 7:50pm
Andrew EisenI'm not calling his examination of the Shaw study into question. I haven't read the study nor seen his video. All I'm saying is that it has nothing to do with the Gamers Are Dead articles I've been referencing for the last year.07/31/2015 - 7:49pm
MattsworknameSome times sargon just goes off on tangents but in this case he was pretty direct and went through teh research in detail, did the whole first video about the shaw study itself07/31/2015 - 7:45pm
Andrew EisenWell, unless it's disingenuous twaddle but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.07/31/2015 - 7:42pm
Andrew EisenGotta be. The argument you describe makes no sense otherwise.07/31/2015 - 7:40pm
MattsworknameThat is a possibility, they looked like offical articles but its possible they are different from the articles you mentoin07/31/2015 - 7:28pm
Andrew EisenNot unless he's referring to a completely different set of Gamers Are Dead articles.07/31/2015 - 7:19pm
MattsworknameIT is possibel the articles aren't readily visable or no longer show up on the sites diretly, as over time they might have been shuffled around to get them outta teh spot lights07/31/2015 - 7:18pm
MattsworknameThe video proves otherwise andrew, the links to shaws research are in the articles themselves07/31/2015 - 7:17pm
RedMageAs someone who writes extensively himself, I can see when writing has been influenced by boiling anger from a mile away.07/31/2015 - 7:12pm
RedMageI also didn't see Leigh Alexander's original article as an attack on gamers; it was just poorly written. She'd likely had a terrible day and was projecting the activities of gaming's vicious fringe onto "gamers" collectively, however you describe that.07/31/2015 - 7:11pm
 

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