Intellectual Property Law

New Matter WINTER 2014, Volume 39, Number 4

Case Comments

Lowell Anderson

Stetina Brunda Garred & Brucker


This suit alleges that the NCAA restrains competition by preventing Division I schools from offering recruits a portion of revenue from football and basketball broadcasting and videogame licenses in the college education market and the group licensing market. The NCAA’s proposed justifications of protecting amateurism, promoting balance among teams, integrating education and athletics raised fact issues for trial. But supporting women’s sports was not justified and dismissed on summary judgment. Also, "taken together, Zacchini and Wisconsin Interscholastic make clear that the First Amendment does not create a right to broadcast an entire athletic performance without first obtaining a license or consent from all of the parties who hold valid ownership rights in that performance." The "broadcast of entire Division I football and basketball games do not constitute commercial speech." These two cases also "make clear that the First Amendment does not bar Division 1 student-athletes from selling group licenses to use their names, images, and likenesses in live or recorded broadcasts of entire college football and basketball games." The case is proceeding toward trial. In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litig, 111 USP2d 1339 (N.D. Cal. 2014).

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