Former NFL player Jim Brown has appealed a court decision made last September that ruled Electronic Arts was within its First Amendment rights when it included a player similar to Brown in its Madden NFL
series of games.
Although Brown's name is not used in Madden NFL
, the former Cleveland Browns player took issue with the use of his likeness and jersey number, and sued EA in 2008 along with fellow former NFL player Herb Adderly.
, United States District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper, who has since passed away, dismissed the suit, but now Brown has appealed that dismissal in a San Francisco appellate court.
In her decision, Cooper said games "are expressive works, akin to an expressive painting that depicts celebrity athletes of past and present in a realistic sporting environment," allowing Electronic Arts the creative freedom to include a player alluding to Brown.
According to the New York Times
, EA communications VP Jeff Brown said, "We remain confident that the ruling will be upheld."