by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jul 7th 2010 6:30pm
Back in September last year, we wrote about an important district court ruling that said video game maker EA was within its rights to use a likeness of football player Jim Brown in its video games. In the past few decades, there has been a dangerous expansion in so-called "publicity rights," like this that effectively put serious limits on what others can do. This expansion needs to be challenged, even if it seems like something so simple as a video game. Not surprisingly, however, Brown is now appealing the district court's decision to dismiss the case, saying that he wasn't able to present all the facts. We noted last year that this case would certainly be appealed, so this doesn't come as a huge surprise. Still, it should be a case worth watching if you are concerned about the expansion of concepts like publicity rights (and, on the flip side, about free expression rights).
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