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Old 08-30-2010, 04:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Abdul-Jabbar Slams Basketball Card Company

Abdul-Jabbar Slams Basketball Card Company




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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is outraged that a trading card company has traded on his image after he specifically shut them down ... and now Kareem is gunning for more than a million.


In a lawsuit filed today in L.A. County Superior Court and obtained by TMZ ... Kareem claims The Upper Deck Company plastered 6 Kareem pics from his days as a UCLA Bruin on its "Greats of the Game" series.

Kareem ... who is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points ... claims Upper Deck had the audacity to market the cards after he turned them down flat.

The lawsuit, filed by legal pit bull Marty Singer, notes that when Kareem left the NBA, he blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player awards, played in more All-Star Games and logged more seasons than any other player. Shockingly, Singer makes no mention of Kareem's epic performance in the greatest movie of all time -- "Airplane!"

The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sues Upper Deck Trading Card Company Over Basketball Cards | TMZ.com
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Doesn't suprise me with UD and it's shady business ways
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nah, it can't be. Upper deck actually going against someone's wishes yet again? Nah. It can't be true. Upper deck wouldn't do such a thing, would they?

I wonder how many more lawsuits are coming? I wonder how much longer they'll be in business?

I sincerely doubt this will be the last time we hear of someone suing upper deck. Perhaps one of these days, it will be the collectors.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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UD has every right to produce cards featuring players in their NCAA uniforms because they have a license with the The Collegiate Licensing Company. They don't need to get the specific permission of each and every player. I don't understand the basis for this lawsuit.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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UD has every right to produce cards featuring players in their NCAA uniforms because they have a license with the The Collegiate Licensing Company. They don't need to get the specific permission of each and every player. I don't understand the basis for this lawsuit.
Perhaps you just don't understand what upper deck is entitled to, and what they're not.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Perhaps you just don't understand what upper deck is entitled to, and what they're not.
Please enlighten me oh wise one. What I know is that UCLA owns the rights to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's likeness while he was playing for UCLA, UCLA is represented by The Collegiate Licensing Company, and The Collegiate Licensing Company entered into a contract with UD that allows UD to use the likenesses of its clients (which includes players at UCLA via its deal with UCLA).
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Please enlighten me oh wise one. What I know is that UCLA owns the rights to Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's likeness while he was playing for UCLA, UCLA is represented by The Collegiate Licensing Company, and The Collegiate Licensing Company entered into a contract with UD that allows UD to use the likenesses of its clients (which includes players at UCLA via its deal with UCLA).
I'm wondering, does that also include players that no longer play in the NCAA?

Obviously there's a good reason Kareem is suing upper deck. My guess...this will be yet another lawsuit that upper deck won't win. Anyone want to bet I'm wrong?
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What is interesting to me is that I have a Kareem Abdul Jabbar/David Robinson Dual Autograph card from 2010 Greats of the Game in my UD Redemption list right now! I pulled it at the National at the Upper Deck booth and was hyped because those are 2 of my favorite centers of all time because of how they carried themselves on and off the court. I guess that I'm going to have to now consider a replacement..
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm wondering, does that also include players that no longer play in the NCAA?

Obviously there's a good reason Kareem is suing upper deck. My guess...this will be yet another lawsuit that upper deck won't win. Anyone want to bet I'm wrong?
That whole set was based on players who no longer play in the NCAA. Maybe its the Auto's hes whining about. Either way his image isnt his to withhold unfortunately.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm wondering, does that also include players that no longer play in the NCAA?

Obviously there's a good reason Kareem is suing upper deck. My guess...this will be yet another lawsuit that upper deck won't win. Anyone want to bet I'm wrong?
I think Kareem doesn't like having UD get the upper hand on him, especially after he said no. He probably said no to being their pitchman, or heavily promoted athlete on packaging, but if UD has a Collegiate License, which I believe they do, then they can use all that stuff he was part of without his permission. I think it just pisses him off. If they have a license, he has no case.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That whole set was based on players who no longer play in the NCAA. Maybe its the Auto's hes whining about. Either way his image isnt his to withhold unfortunately.
Kareem said that he "turned them down flat". That would lead me to believe that upper deck was trying to get his permission. Perhaps the other players said yes, and he didn't.

How sure are you that Kareem's image "isn't his to withhold"?
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think Kareem doesn't like having UD get the upper hand on him, especially after he said no. He probably said no to being their pitchman, or heavily promoted athlete on packaging, but if UD has a Collegiate License, which I believe they do, then they can use all that stuff he was part of without his permission. I think it just pisses him off. If they have a license, he has no case.
Didn't Ed O'Bannon do something like this with the NCAA Basketball video game or was he just mad he didn't get paid for it?
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I think Kareem doesn't like having UD get the upper hand on him, especially after he said no. He probably said no to being their pitchman, or heavily promoted athlete on packaging, but if UD has a Collegiate License, which I believe they do, then they can use all that stuff he was part of without his permission. I think it just pisses him off. If they have a license, he has no case.
But Panini has a NBA license, yet they can't use Jordan's image, correct?

I'm honestly wanting to know if anyone here actually knows that upper deck has the right to use Kareem's image. Of course they have the right to use all current players, but does Kareem fall under the current collegiate licensing?
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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On the issue of who can and can't be used, I'm not so sure that UD can use whomever they want as long as they are pictured in their college uniforms. I say this cause Charles Barkley wasn't included in GOTG and I don't believe he's in that new SP Authentic. From what I've heard in the past, Barkley doesn't want his likeness in video games or trading cards cause he doesn't want to be seen as a rolemodel to kids. Surely though if they could (and against Barkley's wishes) you'd think UD would have included Barkley in these sets if its fair game to use his likeness

So with that being said I think UD has to ask the players or in they case if they are deceased, the player's family if they can use their likeness in products. 99.9% of the time the player or family has no issue with it as they get money for it and it also somewhat promotes that players legacy
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm wondering, does that also include players that no longer play in the NCAA?

Obviously there's a good reason Kareem is suing upper deck. My guess...this will be yet another lawsuit that upper deck won't win. Anyone want to bet I'm wrong?
Yes, it does. A handful of players have filed these suits recently against companies like EA Sports claiming their "image rights" have been violated. Ed O'Bannon comes to mind. The suits haven't been dismissed outright, but nobody has won one yet and, if they do, it will surely be appealed. I think it will be especially difficult for Mr. Abdul-Jabaar because the CLC contract ensures that he'll not just be fighting against UD, but also against the NCAA, the CLC, and UCLA.

As much as you seem to want to slam UD, it has a contract that allows it to produce cards with Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's likeness on them. If UD did something wrong, it is because CLC didn't have the right to enter into that contract in the first place and that means the NCAA and UCLA screwed up moreso than UD. If you want to point the finger of blame at someone in this situation, UD should be no higher than 4th on the list.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Barkley doesn't want his likeness in video games or trading cards cause he doesn't want to be seen as a rolemodel to kids. Surely though if they could (and against Barkley's wishes) you'd think UD would have included Barkley in these sets if its fair game to use his likeness
Not sure if this is the same but there were years when players like Michael Jordan and Barry Bonds were not on rosters for their respective teams in video games because they disallowed it.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, it does. A handful of players have filed these suits recently against companies like EA Sports claiming their "image rights" have been violated. Ed O'Bannon comes to mind. The suits haven't been dismissed outright, but nobody has won one yet and, if they do, it will surely be appealed. I think it will be especially difficult for Mr. Abdul-Jabaar because the CLC contract ensures that he'll not just be fighting against UD, but also against the NCAA, the CLC, and UCLA.

As much as you seem to want to slam UD, it has a contract that allows it to produce cards with Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's likeness on them. If UD did something wrong, it is because CLC didn't have the right to enter into that contract in the first place and that means the NCAA and UCLA screwed up moreso than UD. If you want to point the finger of blame at someone in this situation, UD should be no higher than 4th on the list.
We shall see.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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But Panini has a NBA license, yet they can't use Jordan's image, correct?

I'm honestly wanting to know if anyone here actually knows that upper deck has the right to use Kareem's image. Of course they have the right to use all current players, but does Kareem fall under the current collegiate licensing?
I believe the NBAPA's contract states that the players (at least the retired ones) own their own likenesses. That is what allows UD to continue to make Jordan and LeBron cards (just without the NBA logos because they don't have an NBA license). It is different with college players because the schools own the likenesses, not the players.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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My question was responded to before I wrote this. Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2010, 05:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm gonna sue UD if they ever use my likeness on any NCAA D3 Cross Country/Track cards!
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:45 PM   #21 (permalink)
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It is different with college players because the schools own the likenesses, not the players.
So for example when Press Pass had a CLC license for basketball, they could have used Jordan as long as he was in a UNC uniform? I don't think so.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:48 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Where's Gellman to defend Upper.....Oh wait, that's right, it's not Topps (his new Master).
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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So for example when Press Pass had a CLC license for basketball, they could have used Jordan as long as he was in a UNC uniform? I don't think so.
I have no idea what the terms of any Press Pass contract was/is. However, based on the reports I read, UD has an exclusive contract with CLC that gives them the rights to produce cards featuring the likenesses of the athletes whose schools have a deal with CLC.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:37 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Not sure if this is the same but there were years when players like Michael Jordan and Barry Bonds were not on rosters for their respective teams in video games because they disallowed it.
Bonds was not in the games because he was not part of the mlbpa
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:40 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Would this be the similar type of lawsuit as when the large group of Football players sued EA sports for using their likenesses on Madden?
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