EA Pays NFL Legend Jim Brown $600,000 After Settling Madden Lawsuit
"Big business should think twice before it turns players' hard-won identities and achievements into merchandise without permission or compensation."
Electronic Arts will pay retired NFL star Jim Brown a $600,000 settlement related to claims that Madden NFL games used his likeness without permission.
Brown's attorney, Robert Carey, said he's happy with the settlement. In a statement, he said it "marks an important victory" for publicity-rights cases.
"Big business should think twice before it turns players' hard-won identities and achievements into merchandise without permission or compensation," he said.
Brown himself added, "I took a stand for all athletes and laid a framework for future plaintiffs with my great legal team. Hopefully, this is a step forward in getting companies like Electronic Arts to recognize the value that athletes have in selling their products."
Brown alleged that Electronic Arts was illegally profiting from his likeness and identity due to the publisher's inclusion of a physically and statistically similar running back on its "All Browns Team" of Cleveland football greats.
His case against EA dates back to 2008, when he originally sued the video game company. The next year, a judge tossed out the suit, citing a First Amendment right on EA's behalf to have characters resemble celebrities. However, Brown's legal team apparently appealed and continued until the two sides finally reached the settlement deal this week.
GameSpot has contacted EA for more information. We'll update this post with anything we hear back.
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