EA Facing Class Action Lawsuit From Former NCAA Players
Now it looks like they have one more to deal with. Last week a federal judge allowed a class action lawsuit against the publisher, as well as the National Collegiate Athletics Association and Collegiate Licensing Company, to procede.
The suit, filed in 2009 by a group of former college basketball and football players led by former UCLA star Edward O’Bannon, alleges that EA conspired with the collegiate organizations to keep the players from profiting from their likenesses.
Last year Judge Claudia Wilken threw out some of the conspiracy charges involving EA allegedly boycotting players, but the case as a whole will continue.
This lawsuit has implications reaching beyond videogame licensing though. There is currently a debate over whether or not (and if so, how) collegiate athletes from sports that bring in millions of dollars a year to their universities should be compensated. This suit centers on athletes being forced to sign away rights to their likenesses in order to compete, so if EA and the NCAA lose, it could shake up a multi-billion dollar industry.