NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

January 7, 2010 -

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case of American Needle v. NFL next week and perhaps give the NFL broader protection against antitrust lawsuits.

At the heart of the case is an exclusive deal that the NFL has with Reebok as the official seller of hats,. jerseys and clothes using team insignias. American Needle lost its right to sell those items when the league reached the deal with Reebok in 2000.

Where this impacts the videogame industry is the exclusive license that Electronic Arts has with the NFL as the sole purveyor of an NFL-branded videogame with the Madden NFL series. According to a Reuters article:

A broad ruling could insulate professional sports leagues from antitrust claims over video-game licenses, television rights, franchise relocation and even player salaries. Only Major League Baseball is exempt from antitrust laws now.

In the past, the court has kept a tight rein on antitrust suits, and legal analysts say that the mere fact that the court has agreed to hear the case means it could be sympathetic to the NFL's claims for broader protection.

The case for the NFL, according to brief it filed:

“A sports league produces a single entertainment product, a structured series of athletic competitions leading to a championship, that no member club could produce on its own."

However, American Needle countered with:

“The teams are separately owned and controlled profit- making enterprises. They are actual and potential competitors in numerous areas, including the licensing of intellectual property.”

Electronic Arts has come out on the side of the NFL for obvious reasons, and the antitrust protection for the NFL could ensure EA's deal from outside interference as long as the NFL sees fit to continue the contract.

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Comments

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

The only thing I have to say about any possibility of something messing up a license for EA:

 

Good fucking riddance.

Yes I have a WIP. Just wait and see.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Tghe teams need to ban togather and bully the NFL to allow them more rights over thier copy right, it should work both ways.... the teams should be allowed to do what they want(that dose not tarnish the brand) and give the NFL a 30% cut of profits....


Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Did you read and understand the article, Zippy? If you did, why are you still coming up with this dumb crap? The teams are the NFL. It's the teams, in the form of their larger parent organization, the NFL, who are raping America Needle. The NFL raping the teams has nothing to do with what's going here.

You should try harder to follow the actual plot. And quit making up your own plot as a substitute.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Here's a thought EA,Reebok, and the NFL never went to Congress or The President and begged to be bailed out so the government has no say in any private business matters.

 

And if the courts do decide against the NFL on the I hope the very next hour MLB has to follow the same rules.

 

Fact is Madden did drop in quality but Take 2K Games MLB2K series also dropped when they secured an exclusive contract.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

You mean that laws don't apply to business that doesn't get any money from the state? Because the laws are the only part of the government involved in this matter.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

I didn't know about MLB's exemption from antitrust regulations, but I think it's outrageous. No single organization or business type should get to enjoy such a privilege, nor should antitrust rules be dropped altogether. If your business model is incompatible with antitrust laws then you shouldn't be in business.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Exempting a business from antitrust regulation isn't usually rationalized on the premise that its business model is incompatible with the regulatory effort. Rather, the more common rationale is that the business, as a matter of fact, can never have any natural competitors and, therefore, subjecting it to anitcompetitive regulation not only serves no useful purpose but also could indeed harm consumers (e.g., passed-down costs resulting from having the business satisfy a purposeless regulatory scheme). I'm not saying that the NFL satisfies the requirement of being without competitors. I'm just saying. 

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Which is exactly what's been happening with the health-don't-care industry. They were granted this status, and people are suffering for it. I mean, Baseball is one thing, as you won't risk dying if you can't afford a baseball game trip.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

Be it NFL merchandise, games, or any other exclusive rights deals for merchandise of any type, i have only one comment. If you don't like it, excersize your right as a consumer by NOT BUYING IT.

Re: NFL Case Could Impact Sports Game Licenses

The ruling in this case, if in favor of the NFL and other sports leagues (MLB, NCAA) could have very large and very severe affects well beyond just exclusives for video games.

 
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Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
Neenekoeither that or it would follow the car model of today. big ticket items are taxed according to your residence, not where you buy them.09/23/2014 - 11:07am
NeenekoI doubt it would be the retailer that handles the tax in the first place. If it goes through it would probably be folded in as a service on the processor end or via 'turbotax' style applications.09/23/2014 - 11:05am
Matthew Wilsonsimple there are over 10k tax areas in the us for sales tax. it would be impossible for small online retailers to handle that.09/23/2014 - 10:55am
IanCWhats wrong with charging tax in an online shop?09/23/2014 - 10:47am
E. Zachary KnightI don't see why it would be that difficult to maintain one. Especially for a news outlet with multiple people on the payroll.09/23/2014 - 9:37am
Matthew Wilsonthey can, but will they? more inportantly will the traditional sites be willing to do the extra work to maintain the list?09/23/2014 - 9:02am
E. Zachary KnightSo how will it reduce the power of the traditional games press? They can create curated stores too.09/23/2014 - 8:39am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good thing, but it does mean traditional games press will have less power than ever before. To be fair most of the gaming press were never big on pc gaming anyways.09/23/2014 - 8:33am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, is that a bad or good thing?09/23/2014 - 7:43am
MechaTama31When you say "youtuber", I picture some sort of customizable potato...09/22/2014 - 10:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthis change will only give youtubers more power.09/22/2014 - 9:54pm
 

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