Keller v. EA – by “Bill T”

Intro to Law and Technology Final Project from Nate Blevins on Vimeo.

Background on Keller v. EA: Samuel Keller is formerly the quarterback of Arizona State University’s team. He is suing Electronic Arts, the makers of several sports video games, for infringing several of his (and thousands of other college athletes’) rights in the production of NCAA Football. Through the creation of a realistic digital environment simulating everything from stadiums to weather to players uniform styles (though they omit players’ names), EA seeks to immerse its customers in the experience of college football. Keller alleges that the realistic models of players used in the game violate his Right to Publicity according to California Civil Code 3344. He further alleges that by enabling its users to share self-created rosters via “EA Locker” that they induce infringement of this right. Additionally in consideration in this case is the NCAA’s non-endorsement policy prohibiting its players from profiting from their images as football players. The case is currently before the US 9th Circuit court on appeal from the district court’s decision to deny EA dismissal for anti-SLAPP purposes. This project is an exploration of the policy-based arguments on both sides of the case.

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