“Hard Rock” Hamilton Says Microsoft Can’t Leave Gears of War Lawsuit

On March 2, 2019, Lenwood “Hard Rock” Hamilton filed a motion in opposition to Microsoft’s summary judgment motion in video game lawsuit. As we have previously covered, Hamilton sued Microsoft Studios Inc. and Epic Games Inc. claiming that a character/avatar in the popular video game Gears of War, Augustus “Cole Train” Cole, was based on, and copied, Hamilton. According to Hamilton, “[t]he similarities of the avatar ‘Cole Train’ and [Hamilton] include that both are black (and ‘Cole Train’ is the only black avatar…
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SCOTUS Settles Circuit Split, Rules Copyright Owners Must Register Prior to Bringing Infringement Lawsuits

On Monday, March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that a work must be registered with the U.S. Copyright office prior to the copyright owner bringing an infringement lawsuit. While registration is not required for valid copyright ownership, Section 411(a) provides that a work must be registered prior to bringing a copyright infringement lawsuit. Notably, even if the application is ultimately refused and the registration is denied, the applicant still may bring a civil action. Previously, the circuit courts had been split on what…
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College Athlete Compensation Decision

On March 8, 2019, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken issued an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing rules that are “overly and unnecessarily restrictive.” In yet another decision, Judge Wilken changed the landscape of the NCCA’s amateurism and compensation rules. For the second time, Judge Wilken ruled that the NCAA’s amateurism and compensation rules violated federal antitrust laws. Specifically, the NCAA can no longer “limit compensation or benefits related to education;” however, the NCAA “may continue … to limit compensation and benefits that are unrelated…
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Panel Suggests New York is Closing in on Limited Legalization of Sports Betting Statewide

According to a panel at the Cardozo Sports Law Symposium, New York continues to inch closer to joining neighboring states in legalizing sports betting. The panel, consisting of sports law professionals and state congressmen, discussed the current status of its legalization, impediments that continue to hinder its progress, and the benefits that could ultimately be capitalized upon. As noted by Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., New York need look no further than its neighbors to the south to get a glimpse of the potential sports betting’s…
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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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Sports Betting Website Sued Over Mass Texts

Sideline Marketing, Inc. has been accused of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unsolicited advertisements via text messages. The proposed class action was filed in Florida federal court on February 22, 2019. The lead plaintiff Steven Saul alleges in his complaint that Sideline Marketing bombarded individuals with unwanted text messages, sending spam texts advertising its sports betting advice service on BlowoutPicks.com. The suit claims that these bulk spam messages were sent without the recipients’ permission by an automatic telephone dialing system, and that…
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Youth Hockey “Boys Club” Prevents Tier 1 Application, Suit Says

On February 21, 2019, Reapers Hockey Association Inc. (Reapers), an organization that hopes to become Illinois fifth Tier 1 youth hockey club, filed a lawsuit against the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois Inc. (AHAI), the committee in charge of granting Tier 1 charters. According to the lawsuit, the AHAI governs all organized amateur hockey in Illinois, but the AHAI has only served the pecuniary interests of the existing four hockey clubs that possess a Tier I charter. It was alleged that the AHAI and its…
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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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Appeals Court Revives White Sox Injury Suit

A three judge-panel on an Illinois appeals court has revived a negligence/product liability suit by a former electrician against the Chicago White Sox. The suit arose from an incident in which plaintiff Thomas Zahumensky, an electrician, slipped and fell on wet polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, while repairing the scoreboard in the field on which the White Sox Play. The field, which is now known as Guaranteed Rate Field, was known as U.S. Cellular Field when he was injured in 2013. Zahumensky sued the White Sox,…
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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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