The average fan would love to be seen in Electronic Arts' newest Madden video game. The average former player? Not so much.
Former Browns running back Jim Brown has settled a lawsuit alleging EA used his likeness without permission, receiving $600,000 in the settlement.
Brown originally filed the suit way back in 2008. His case follow a suit filed by former players, alleging the NFL Players Association allowed EA not to pay players for their likenesses. The players and the NFLPA settled in 2009, as the union shelled out $24 million to former players. On the other hand, Brown's lawsuit featured more twists and turns.
According to Polygon, at one point, a federal judge "ruled EA's roster practices were permissible as video games were considered 'expressive works,' such as a painting." However, in early 2015, a Los Angeles court denied EA's First Amendment defense, rejecting EA's motion to dismiss the famous running back's lawsuit.
Madden NFL games long included historic rosters with identical jersey numbers, positions, height weight, etc., but not the name of the player. However, any history buff or average fan could pick out Brown on Madden's 1964 Browns roster. Personally, I used to love playing as old Browns teams as a kid.
In 2010, after Brown continued his case, another group of former players decided to sue EA, too. Davis vs. Electronic Arts, allegeing damages of over $5 million, remains in the court system.
Better save those old Madden games. EA likely won't feature Jim Brown in Madden anytime soon.