Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ea Sports Loses in Court

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ea Sports Loses in Court

Article excerpt

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that video game maker Electronic Arts (EA Sports) must face legal claims by college players that it unfairly used their images without compensation.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Redwood City, Calif., company can't invoke the 1st Amendment to shield it from the players' lawsuit.

The legal action was filed in 2009 by Sam Keller, a quarterback who played for Arizona State before transferring to the University of Nebraska. It argues for class action status to represent all current and former players and has been combined with a similar lawsuit filed by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA.

EA said it plans to appeal the ruling. The company has claimed its college-based sports games were works of arts deserving freedom of expression protection.

The court disagreed, ruling the avatars used in the company's basketball and football games were exact replicas of individual players.

TENNIS

The 2013 U.S. Open singles champions will earn a record $2.6 million apiece this year. That's part of the across-the-board prize money overhaul at the Grand Slam tournament. The total payout, including per diems for players, will be $34.3 million, up from $25.5 million in 2012.

GOLF

The 2015 Presidents Cup will be played at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, South Korea, marking the second time in a row that a course designed by the 18-time major championship winner will host the competition. The Presidents Cup Oct. 3-6 is at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.

* The Women's British Open is returning to Turnberry in 2015. The Women's British Open will be played in 2014 at Royal Birkdale, and it's moving up on the calendar. It will be played July 10-13 next year. That's a week before the men's British Open at Royal Liverpool, about 30 miles south of Birkdale.

BASKETBALL

Point guard John Wall agreed a contract extension with the Washington Wizards. The deal reportedly is worth about $80 million over five years. …

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