The lights are on
NBA legend Bill Russell is suing the NCAA and EA Sports over what Russell claims is an uncompensated use of his likeness in EA Sports' NCAA Basketball 09.
According to Bloomberg Businesweek, Russell is taking issue with Electronic Arts for including him in NCAA Basketball 09's Tournament of Legends feature without compensation, which allowed players to pit college teams across time against each other.
Russell also has a beef with the NCAA for using historical footage of him when he played for the University of San Francisco.
Bloomberg says that Russell's complain will be joined into an existing lawsuit by former UCLA player Ed O'Bannon against EA and NCAA for the same reasons. EA has already commented on the O'Bannon case, saying that the company's usage of players' likeness is protected by the First Amendment because the games contain enough original creative content from EA itself that, as a whole, the games are more than just a depiction of a single athlete.
Last month, similar reasoning was enough to sway a judge to strike down a lawsuit brought by former Rutgers QB Ryan Hart against the company.
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Everybody is looking for lawsuits these days.
This is just like Axl Rose suing Activision over Velvet Revolver songs being in Guitar Hero 3. Axl sued like 4 years after the game came out lol. A little late there, Russell?
wouldn't you like to be in a videogame? i understand that you can sue someone if they use video footage of you without your consent, but is it really that bad? anything for money, i guess.
Out of all people to file a lawsuit over something like this, one of the last people I expected to do it is Bill Russell. This is really surprising.
Anything for a quick buck.
If EA was going to put someone in their basketball games without their consent, then why not add Charles Barkley?
Hmm. The more that come out, the more interesting it gets. Especially when it's someone like Bill Russell.
the world has gone mad!!!
yep only in america can you sue for anything and we do
Back in the '50s (when Russell was in college) there was no such thing as video games. They probably "claimed" his likeness years later. The true enemy here is NCAA, not EA.
That's why you don't see air jordan in games because of law suits ea needs to stop useing people without permission it doesn't matter how long ago it was..if thats the case i'll take video of you and put it on the internet and say the same thing and you can't say or do anything about it
And this has what to do with the first amendment? Sounds to me like some crappy EA lawyer just threw out the most obscure defense he could come up with.. Yea, don't think freedom of expression covers 'profiting off of the likenesses and societal relevance of anyone they please.' I think Russell is justified in this case (and I'm usually not one to agree with lawsuits), and he will definitely get a fat settlement. Doubt it'll be handled in court.