AP Photographers Moving Closer to the End Zone as a Deal in Their Copyright Battle is Close

The National Football League (NFL) appears to be close to finalizing a settlement with a number of Associated Press (AP) photographers regarding an ongoing dispute stemming from royalty payments. Counsel notified U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty on June 3, 2019 that the parties are in the process of finalizing a confidential settlement agreement. According to the letter, a motion to dismiss is expected within the next 45 days. The suit, brought by Paul Spinelli and six other photographers, alleged that the NFL exploited thousands…
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Judge Rules that Documentary’s Use of “Super Bowl Shuffle” Didn’t Violate Copyright

The U.S. District Court ruled on May 30, 2019 that a documentary’s feature of the “Super Bowl Shuffle” song in its film did not violate the song’s copyright. The fan-favorite rap song, performed by Walter Payton and other Chicago Bears players, was originally made famous in 1985, when the Bears won Super Bowl XX. Snippets of the song were used in the documentary “85: The Greatest Team in Football History,” a 2016 film by Scott Prestin celebrating the Chicago Bears’ championship season. The lawsuit was…
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Former NFL Players Challenge New Rules in Concussion Settlement Case

On April 24, 2019, a group of former NFL players challenged newly adopted medical rules in the ongoing NFL concussion settlement. As we have previously reported, in April 2015, Judge Brody approved a settlement between the NFL and almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a $75 million “baseline assessment program” that provided eligible retired players with neurological examinations, a $10 million education fund to promote safety and…
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UPDATE: Fans Respond to NFL’s Move to Dismiss Controversial No-Call Lawsuit

On April 8, 2019, a group of New Orleans Saints responded to the NFL’s motion to dismiss the controversial no-call lawsuit. As you recall, a group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders sued the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell with the goal of reversing the New Orleans Saints’ overtime playoff loss in the 2019 NFC championship game. According to their suit, Saints fans were “left bereft and with no faith in the National Football League for fairness despite the leagues own rules to…
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Supreme Court of New Jersey Ends NFL Super Bowl Ticket Suit

On April 4, 2019, the Supreme Court of New Jersey denied Josh Finkelman’s certification and seemingly his last attempt at legal recourse. As we have previously reported, Finkelman filed a proposed class action suit against the NFL for an alleged violation of a New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, which Finkelman claimed prevented event holders from withholding more than 5 percent of all tickets to a given event from “sale to the general public.” In 2014, Finkelman purchased two tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII for…
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Series on the Alliance of American Football: The Fall of the AAF

This is the second part of a two-part series chronicling the rise and fall of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). In the first part, we delved into the unprecedented growth of the AAF, much of which was based on an unsustainable dream to bring a successful professional football league to the United States. In this part, we analyze the ultimate collapse of the AAF, a reality of insurmountable debts and a lack of supporting investors. The Failed Hail Mary On April 2, 2019,…
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Patrick Chung Sued over Posted Trash Talk

On March 27, 2019, a former Los Angeles Rams ticket executive, Matthew Hogan, sued Patriots safety Patrick Chung and Matthew Weymouth over trash talk that was later posted on social media. According to the lawsuit, Hogan was “forced from his job” and now cannot find a new job after Weymouth, the man who runs Chung’s social media account, posted a text message exchange, between Hogan and Weymouth, where Hogan said, “Patrick Chung is a b***h.” According to Hogan, the text message was a joke sent…
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UPDATE: NFL Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Controversial No-Call

On February 27, 2019, the group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders dropped their lawsuit against the NFL. ******* On February 12, 2018, the NFL moved to dismiss the lawsuit brought by a group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders over the controversial no-call in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game. As you recall, a group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders sued the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell with the goal of reversing their overtime playoff loss in…
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Kaepernick and Reid Settle Grievance Against NFL

On February 15, 2019, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a settlement with the NFL regarding their collusion claims against the NFL. As we have previously reported, Kaepernick accused the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the NFL refused to hire him because of his 2016 national anthem protests. Kaepernick has not been with an NFL team since severing his…
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Detroit Lions Agent Sues Over Player’s Autograph Session

Agent Jason Bernstein, of Clarity Sports International, is suing the owner of a sports memorabilia operation, arguing that an autograph session they arranged with Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay broke an exclusive marketing deal. Gerry Ochs, owner of Redland Sports, is accused of arranging the autograph session through a rival agent, Todd France of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and is alleged to have done so to lure Golladay into signing a new representation deal with CAA. The complaint states that Ochs arranged the event…
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