Class Action Suit Brought Against EA over Retired Players in Madden

August 3, 2010 -

In litigation very similar to one brought previously by NFL Hall of Fame member Jim Brown, another ex-professional football player has filed a lawsuit against Electronic Arts, alleging that the game maker used the likenesses of retired NFL players illegally in its Madden NFL series of videogames.

The new suit, filed by Michael E. Davis (pictured in his playing days), aka Tony Davis, was filed in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California on July 29, and is of the class action variety, seeking damages on behalf of the “approximately 6,000 retired NFL players whose likenesses were included in the ‘historic teams’ in all versions and editions of Madden” sold between July 29, 2008 and the present.

Davis, who now resides in Colorado, played six seasons in the NFL as a running back and kick returner, spending three seasons apiece with the Cincinnati Bengals (1976-1978) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1979-1981). The lawsuit claims EA’s use of the likenesses of retired players in its games violates Davis’ statutory and common law rights of publicity under California law, in addition to being unlawful and/or wrongful, causing EA to “be unjustly enriched.”

The lawsuit also called EA’s “commercial exploitation” of retired NFL players both “blatant and prolific.”

Davis notes that in 1979, when he played with the Bucs in his fourth year, he was 26 years old, 5’11” in height, weighed 215 pounds and wore number 27. In Madden 09, Davis claims that a halfback for the 1979 Tampa Bay team appeared, with the same age, height, weight and pro experience—the only difference being the virtual player’s number (#37). Davis claims that despite the “scrambled” jersey numbers of retired players in the games, consumers “will have no difficulty identifying who the ‘historic’ players are.”

Excluded from the class action suit are ex-NFL participants whose “virtual players’ height is not within two inches of the player’s roster height, and the virtual player’s weight is not within 10% of the player’s roster weight.”

The suit seeks actual damages, statutory damages and punitive damages for every member of the class, in addition to the “disgorgement of all profits attributable to the use of Class Members’ likenesses earned by EA.”

Grab a copy of the complaint here (PDF).

Bonus: watch Davis score the only receiving touchdown of his NFL career here (WMV).


Comments

Re: Class Action Suit Brought Against EA over Retired ...

He should have filed this lawsuit BEFORE the last one was awarded in EA's favor.  Now, EA has legal precedent.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Goth_SkunkJust asking out of curiosity, because while the all-female ghostbusters film will be out within a year, there is actually a male one being considered, too: http://ow.ly/P0AR706/30/2015 - 3:13pm
Andrew Eisen(There's only one Ghostbusters movie in production right now.)06/30/2015 - 3:07pm
Andrew EisenI'd say the fact that you can't tell is a positive sign!06/30/2015 - 3:06pm
Andrew EisenDoes it matter?06/30/2015 - 3:04pm
Goth_SkunkAnd now, to get back on target, these uniform and proton pack designs, are they for the female ghostbusters? Or the male ones?06/30/2015 - 3:02pm
Goth_Skunkabout GG is to be either shouted down, mischaracterized, or mocked. But, as James so eloquently put it, I am a GP member first, and a GG supporter second.06/30/2015 - 2:59pm
Goth_Skunkan anti-GG echo chamber with the majority of its users firmly entrenched in their belief that GG has no place in the culture, period. With that firm a mindset, there's little point to registering on the site when the likely response to speaking positively06/30/2015 - 2:59pm
Goth_Skunk@Manta: No, Gamergate is not rife with bigots and misogynists. Additionally, nothing excuses the behaviour by members of games press towards people they don't like, either. There is a lack of GG presence here because this site is still considered to be06/30/2015 - 2:57pm
Goth_SkunkWell I din't really have anywhere else to post it! Lord knows GP would not have posted a story about the Breitbart article. I'm genuinely sorry that I filled up so much space in the shoutbox, but I honestly had no other relevant place to put it.06/30/2015 - 2:53pm
ZippyDSMleeBOth sides make the asumpsoin that anyone is listening to what they have to say. I tend to ignore GG as mindless spewing of discomntent with everything and the other side is about the same whine whine we do not like whine whine. Can we move on yet?06/30/2015 - 2:52pm
Andrew EisenI made this video about two years ago but it's topical again. "The Effects of Gay Marriage" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcFyxiYu9I406/30/2015 - 12:12pm
black mantaA little more compact, but still not a radical re-design.06/30/2015 - 12:00pm
SuperKeegYeah, the proton pack is different in design, but similar in spirit. Its a little dirty, not pretty, but functional.06/30/2015 - 11:08am
IvresseI'm guessing it's specifically designed to be smaller. The original packs were pretty bulky looking...06/30/2015 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightThe proton pack is a very different design. Here is the original: http://www.gbfans.com/wiki/Proton_Pack_Part_Names06/30/2015 - 10:50am
black mantaProton pack looks essentially the same to me. Have no problem with either, BTW. :)06/30/2015 - 10:32am
Andrew EisenNot much change to the uniforms so I was surprised to see such a redesign for the proton pack. I like it though!06/30/2015 - 10:22am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster proton pack: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61586646983075840006/30/2015 - 10:19am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster uniforms: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61565492324668211206/30/2015 - 10:18am
Mattsworknamegamergate or any part of that movment. My biggest issues have always been more about my views on the idustry on a personal level rather then any affilication with GG.06/30/2015 - 9:50am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician