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Jerry West and the NBA Logo

NBA and Jerry WestNow that the National Basketball Association has acknowledged that it modeled its logo after Jerry West, does it owe West royalties for exploitation of his publicity rights?

Why not?

3 thoughts on “Jerry West and the NBA Logo”

  1. These days, leagues and teams tend to control the publicity rights to players for images in uniform and on the field/court/practice space. There is a good chance that no such standard provision existed back then. But I would guess there was some standard practice that governs such rights.

    Right to publicity did not really exist in the 1960s like it does now. So there would not have been much explicit in the players’ agreements.

    NFL Films might be a model.

  2. My guess is that you’re right regarding player and collective bargaining agreements from that era, and it seems unlikely that he’d be bound by contemporary contracts. But is the (possible) claim governed by old law? The NBA is making continuing commercial use of an image that is (now) identifiably that of Jerry West, and the news reports suggests that he didn’t know that he was the model for the logo — at least, he didn’t know for sure — until now. (Would the unconfirmed rumors have given him legal “reason to know”?) If Mr. Outside decided to pursue this, wouldn’t current law offer a remedy?

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