NFL players’ lawsuit vs. video game maker allowed to advance

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A federal appeals court has given the green light to a lawsuit by former NFL players against video game maker Electronic Arts over the use of their avatars in the company’s Madden NFL series.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday sided with a lower court that rejected Electronic Art’s motion to dismiss the case. The 9th Circuit said EA was not likely to prevail in its argument that use of the former players’ likenesses was incidental and therefore protected by the First Amendment.

The players, including former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Vince Ferragamo, said the Madden NFL game had players with their exact characteristics, but EA had not obtained their permission to use the figures.

A call to Redwood City, California-based Electronic Arts was not immediately returned.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He's from Alabama, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!