At the moment this has nothing to do with the NFL, but I think it's interesting enough to open up for discussion. Former Nebraska QB Sam Keller has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA and EA Sports for the "blatant and unlawful use" of student-athlete likenesses in video games.
The suit states that among other things EA:
"intentionally circumvents the prohibitions on utilizing student athletes' names in commercial ventures by allowing gamers to upload entire rosters, which include players' names and other information."
"With rare exception, virtually every real-life Division I football or basketball player in the NCAA has a corresponding player in Electronic Arts' games with the same jersey number, and virtually identical height, weight, build, and home state. In addition, Electronic Arts matches the player's skin tone, hair color, and often even a player's hair style, although this last characteristic can be highly variable over even a single season."
The suit is a class action filed on behalf of all college athletes depicted in the NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games.
The NCAA did have a response:
Our agreement with EA Sports clearly prohibits the use of names and pictures of current student-athletes in their electronic games," said NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson, in a statement. "We are confident that no such use has occurred and that we will ultimately be dismissed from this lawsuit.
One interesting article closed with an amusing comment about the NCAA: "But while they may be okay by the letter of the law, once again the NCAA violates the spirit of protecting the student athlete with alarming ease. So long as they are getting paid."
I bring this up in part because the lawsuit was filed in San Francisco. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for how this plays out.