In 2005 Sam Keller was the starting quarterback at Arizona State before he transferred to the University of Nebraska for the 2007 season. Keller, like thousands of his fellow student-athletes, was recreated, virtually, for Electronic Arts’ annual NCAA Football video game. EA goes to great lengths to ensure the authenticity of its sports games, from sending questionnaires to athletic trainers to assure accurate height, weight, and build, for players to realistically recreating stadiums, cheerleaders, and sounds. EA’s recreation omits the players’ names on their jerseys and creates a new hometown for each player. In May of 2009, Keller filed a class action lawsuit against Electronic Arts claiming that EA appropriated his likeness in violation of his right of privacy. This Episode of Legally Gamer looks at this lawsuit, sometimes known as the Ed’Obannon lawsuit, and tries to explain the Court’s decision.
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