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Clash of Sports Celebrities’ Publicity Rights in Computer and Fantasy Sports Games

Loeb & Loeb LLP is pleased to announce that partner Doug Masters will be a panelist at the upcoming New York State Bar Association CLE program. The topic of the CLE panel will be “Clash of Sports Celebrities’ Publicity Rights in Computer and Fantasy Sports Games.”

Topic Overview:

Examine the rights of publicity of athletes and discuss the rights that a professional and/or a college athlete has to own and protect his/her personal attributes (name, nickname, likeness, voice, player numbers, etc.) in the context of recent court cases and rulings that have identified certain of these attributes as being considered part of the public domain and thereby given a “fair use” or First Amendment exemption.

Distinguish between an athlete’s right to protect his/her personal attributes from claims of false association as a property right or as a right of publicity.

What effect does the existence of a collective bargaining agreement or other contractual action that governs an athlete’s rights to control (or cede control of) their personal attributes have on an analysis of an athlete’s rights of publicity?

Examine the issues in Keller v. Electronic Arts Inc. and NCAA and discuss the effect of this case on rights of publicity and other issues regarding an athlete’s ability to control the exploitation of his/her personal attributes in computer and fantasy sports games. Postscript look at C.B.C. Distribution v. MLB Adv. Media L.P., 505 F.3d 818 (8th Cir. 2007) as it has impacted athletes’ publicity rights.