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NFL players cannot pursue antitrust claims related to old game footage

District judge says their claims are for royalties, not antitrust

The National Football League (NFL) is taking a lot of heat from its players lately, with a unified head injury complaint against it and a linebacker suing the commissioner for defamation. But as of Wednesday, the league has one less lawsuit on its plate.

A district court judge tossed out an antitrust lawsuit brought by former players Gene Washington, Diron Talbert and Sean Lumpkin that claimed the NFL had an illegal monopoly on game footage of retired players. Representing a purported class of former players seeking compensation, the lawsuit alleged that the NFL used players’ likenesses in promotional films and forbade them from promoting themselves using their identities as football players.

District Judge Paul A. Magnuson did not find their argument convincing, saying that footage of NFL games could really only belong to the NFL, considering single players are rarely alone in footage with no NFL logos or marks. “What they have are claims for royalties, not claims for antitrust,” Magnuson wrote.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

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