July 21st, 2006

Madden Promo Voice-over Generates NFL Lawsuit

T.V. newsman John Facenda died in 1984, but his deep, resonant voice lives on, thanks mainly to its use by the National Football League and the league's video unit, NFL Films.

But according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Facenda's family has filed a federal lawsuit against the league and NFL Films over the use of Facenda's rich baritone in Making of Madden 2006, a promotional video for last year's edition of the long-running pro football game published by EA Sports. The game publisher has an exclusive deal with the league for pro football video games which use NFL logos and other licensing features.

Facenda vs. NFL Films was filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Monday. The Facenda family's attorney Paul Lauricella said that the broadcaster agreed to allow the NFL to use his voice for its football highlights, but not to promote other types of businesses. The amount of damages sought by the family remains unspecified.

The Associated Press spoke with Lauricella, who claimed that Facenda's voice opened the Making of Madden 2006 and was used later in the video, which the attorney called a "30-minute commercial for the Madden game."
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Hillary Eying Video Game Tax?

According to an un-sourced story in Kotaku, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) is mulling a tax on video games.

If that's true, Sen. Clinton is in noteworthy - if not especially good - company. Advocating a game tax would align her with the likes of failed Texas gubernatorial candidate Star Locke as the only politicians in recent memory to advocate a special tariff on our favorite pastime.

As the Kotaku story tells it, the tax would go to some type of child advocacy program. Although we'd rather see some kind of attribution, Kotaku editor Brian Crecente got it right last year regarding ESA president Doug Lowenstein's secret Hillary fund-raising breakfast, so methinks his Hillary contacts have history on their side.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Daily News columnist/blogger Will Bunch takes Hillary to task in a piece entitled Never Mind the Potholes, Hillary Continues Down the Lieberman Road.
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