Abstract: This Note argues that widely recognized retired athletes, such as Jim Brown, whose likenesses have been used in video games, will be able to recover damages under likeness laws if video game producers do not take more action to protect themselves from such lawsuits. Part II of this Note will discuss the history of likeness rights and how they have developed in our legal system. Part III will discuss how licensing agreements operate in sports through collective bargaining agreements between the current athletes and the player unions. This Note will then argue, using Brown v. Sony as an example, that courts can hold video game producers liable when they use recognizable retired athletes’ likenesses in their games without the consent of the players. Finally, Part V of this Note will make suggestions on how video game producers can protect themselves from similar lawsuits in the future.
Citation: 10 Nev. L. J. 784 (2010)