EA defeats ex-Rutgers QB over image in video game

NEW YORK Fri Sep 9, 2011 1:50pm EDT

Rutgers University quarterback Ryan Hart (L) passes as University of Miami Hurricanes' defensive back Derrick Roberson applies pressure in the first half at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, November 22, 2003. REUTERS/Marc Serota

Rutgers University quarterback Ryan Hart (L) passes as University of Miami Hurricanes' defensive back Derrick Roberson applies pressure in the first half at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, November 22, 2003.

Credit: Reuters/Marc Serota

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Electronic Arts Inc on Friday won the dismissal of a lawsuit by former Rutgers University quarterback Ryan Hart accusing it of using his image in its NCAA Football video game without permission.

U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson in Trenton, New Jersey, said Electronic Arts' right to free expression under the First Amendment outweighs former quarterback Ryan Hart's right to control the use of his name and likeness.

Keith McKenna, a lawyer for Hart, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Elizabeth McNamara, a lawyer for Electronic Arts, said the company is pleased with the decision, which "validates Electronic Arts' rights to create and publish its expressive works."

The case is Hart v. Electronic Arts Inc et al, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, No. 09-05990.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by Andre Grenon)

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