Clash of Sports Celebrities’ Publicity Rights in Computer and Fantasy Sports Games

February 23, 2011
Barry Werbin
New York State Bar Association’s Entertainment, Art and Sports Committee2 Park Avenue, New York, New York

Through a dynamic panel presentation, this program explored recent clashes between sports personalities on one hand, and computer game developers and fantasy sports operators on the other in the context of players’ rights of publicity in their names, likenesses, images and voices. There was an initial overview of state publicity laws, a review of recent and emerging case law, and an interactive discussion among the panelists, followed by Q&A.

1.5 CLE credits were offered.

Topics discussed:
Right of publicity
State laws
Defenses
Treatment of athletes' personality rights
Use of athletes' personal "property" rights in games

Panelists:
Doug Masters, Partner, Loeb & Loeb, Chicago
Wesley A. Zirkle, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Just Marketing International
Jon Wertheim, Writer, Sports Illustrated, Professor, Princeton University

Moderator:
Ayala Deutsch, Senior Vice President & Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, NBA Properties, Inc.