College football athletes everywhere scored a pretty significant victory in court today against video game company EA Sports. A lawsuit filed by former collegiate athletes accused the company of using their images in video games without permission, and today a divided U.S. federal appeals court ruled against EA Sports.
By a 2-1 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said EA’s use of the likenesses of former college players in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games did not deserve protection as free expression under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Not surprisingly, EA plans to appeal. If the ruling holds up, this will be a huge win for current and former athletes alike.