Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) has been receiving the backing of Big media companies in the wake of the court ruling pertaining to its use of the likeness of former NFL players. Media Giants such as Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Disarming Films, A&E Television Networks, and Advance Publications have all come out backing EA. Other media companies supporting EA are National Public Radio and ITV Studios America The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and The Radio Television Digital News Association.
The broad support from key players in the media industry for it continues the fight of a 2012 lawsuit stemming from it Madden NFL game. The lawsuit was filed by past NFL players including
Vince Ferragamo who claimed the company did not seek their consent in using their image. Additionally, the players claimed that they have not been paid by EA. For its part, EA pointed to First Amendment in the lawsuit, which safeguards itthe right to use images of persons who are famous, an argument that was rejected by the presiding Judge Richard Seeborg. The judge acknowledges EA’s works protectable under the First Amendment. However, he noted that he is doubtful that EA’s usage of likeness was immunity in the company’s case. As a result, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) now seeks a rehearing on what is seen as ambiguities surrounding the First Amendment. The company believed that the court overlooked important details pertaining to the First Amendment.
It was that argument by EA that prompted the involvement of the media giants. With ambiguities, they want clarity, not only for video game makers but also songwriters, film producers, and content creators, in general. Additionally, a group consisting of 27 law professors also sought clarity on the ruling by the court.
The ruling by the California comes on the heels of EA’s settlement agreement, with past college athletes in 2013. This was after Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) compensated to former college athletes by paying $40 million over the usage of their images. The company is adamant, with its interpretation of the first Amendment and as such is willing to fight tooth and nail for a reversal of the decision.
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