EA wins NCAA player likeness suit

EA has won the dismissal of a lawsuit by former Rutgers University quarterback Ryan Hart which alleged the publisher used his likeness in NCAA Football 2006 without permission. While the game didn’t refer to Hart by name, his lawsuit pointed out that the virtual quarterback for Rutgers shared his general appearance, attributes, uniform number, height, weight, home state, and even a distinctive left hand wristband he wore, Gamasutra reports. US District Judge Freda Wolfson said EA’s right to free expression under the First Amendment outweighs Hart’s right to control the use of his name and likeness. EA lawyer Elizabeth McNamara said the judgment “validates Electronic Arts’ rights to create and publish its expressive works”. Similar cases brought against EA by Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller and former Cleveland Browns player Jim Brown remain active.