National entertainment company CBS is facing serious allegations after reportedly abusing the distribution rights for thousands of photographs of college athletes. CBS Interactive, which is a division of the parent CBS company, joins several smaller defendants in the class-action business litigation suit. The defendants are accused of selling images of the athletes — along with related merchandise and products — without compensating the players. The case brings up the important matter of whether California student athletes should be compensated for the sales of their likenesses.
Business litigation attorneys are able to provide support to individuals who want to file complaints against corporations. Too often, we limit the scope of these legal professionals’ services to business-versus-business proceedings. In fact, business attorneys such as those in this case may also help those who are negatively affected by unethical business practices, such as these collegiate athletes.
Attorneys nationwide are also pursuing damages from the NCAA, the five elite conferences, video game producer Electronic Arts and Collegiate Licensing, among others. This suit argues that the schools used their CBS-sponsored athletics sites to sell scores of products without ever compensating the athletes whose likenesses were being peddled. The case began when athletes sued Printroom in October 2012. That company had partnered with CBS Interactive to host photo market places. It has since divided into two entities: Professional Photo Storefronts and Brand Affinity Technologies.
The business dispute accuses the defendants of selling likenesses of the athletes without their consent. In many cases, visitors were able to search for athletes by name, purchasing specific pictures taken during athletic contests. The lawsuit alleges that CBS Interactive and other defendants knew they should not be using the plaintiffs’ images, but they chose to do so anyway in order to pursue a profit.
Source: USA Today, “CBS sued by former players over sale of their photos” Steve Berkowitz, Apr. 11, 2014