Articles Posted in Entertainment & Sports Law

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Hart was a quarterback, player number 13, with the Rutgers University NCAA Men’s Division I Football team, 2002 through 2005, and was required to adhere to the NCAA amateurism rules. These rules state that a collegiate athlete loses his or her “amateur” status if the athlete uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport or accepts any remuneration or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind. Hart was very successful and was included in EA’s successful NCAA Football videogame franchise. In the game NCAA Football 2006, for example, Rutgers’ quarterback, player number 13, is 6’2” tall, weighs 197 pounds and resembles Hart; it shares his home town, team, and class year. Hart sued EA, alleging violation of his right of publicity by appropriating his likeness for use in the NCAA Football series of videogames. The district court dismissed on First Amendment grounds. The Third Circuit reversed, holding that the games did not sufficiently transform Hart’s identity to escape the right of publicity claim. . View "Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc." on Justia Law

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Covington, a basketball official in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for more than 10 years, filed suit, alleging gender employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J. STAT. 10:5-1, because she has been excluded from officiating at boys’ high school varsity basketball games. The district court dismissed all claims against all defendants: the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials, Board 193 (Board 193), which assigns officials to officiate at regular season high school basketball games; the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), which controls and supervises post-season tournament games and assigns officials to referee those games; the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO), the Colonial Valley Conference (CVC), the Hamilton Township School District (“Hamilton”), a school at which Covington has officiated, and Dumont, the President of Board 193. The Third Circuit remanded to give Covington an opportunity to provide more facts as to her claim against Hamilton, Board 193, and NJSIAA, but affirmed dismissal of claims against the CVC and IAABO. View "Covington v. Int'l Assoc. of Approved Basketball Officials" on Justia Law