FICA seeks players’ commercial rights protection from ICC: Report

A legal battle between the International Cricket Council and cricketers global body looms large over the protection of the commercial rights.

The Federation of International Cricketers Association, according to cricket news website espncricinfo, has raised the issue of the players’ commercial rights exploitation by the ICC partners.

The FICA is reportedly raising a number of issues formally about the exploitation of the players’ commercial rights. This is being seen as the first step towards initiating a legal dispute over the issue. The exploitation of the female players’ commercial and intellectual property rights is reported to be at the heart of the issue.

“We are in the process of challenging the unauthorised use of player images/attributes/content by the ICC and its commercial partners, including in a fantasy cricket game, individual player content used by an ICC sponsor, and a documentary featuring players and individual player content,” Tom Moffat, FICA’s chief executive, is quoted as saying. “This follows a similar issue with trading cards in 2017.

“These types of products are important in promoting the game but are also commercially valuable to the ICC and their partners largely because your attributes, appearances, data and content are used in them. We believe players should be getting a fair share of these arrangements, and that the ICC were required to negotiate terms of access to, and use of, players with FICA. This is provided for in the Squad Terms you sign prior to competing in ICC Events.

“The ICC has previously argued that because players will receive prize money for performances in future ICC events, that covers these sorts of commercial products. Clearly, that is unfair and was not the intended basis of the Squad Terms or global arrangements for players. Taking a legal path is not our desired approach and we have tried to resolve these issues with the ICC over a number of months to ensure players are treated fairly. We have unfortunately been unsuccessful given the way the ICC continues to approach you / FICA on these issues.”

The exploitation of commercial rights and property for players has long been a long pending issue between the FICA and the ICC.

“It is important that we take up these issues for players now,” Moffat said further. “Having discussed the issue with senior men’s and women’s international players, players from across countries have offered to assist so that FICA can lodge the grievances on behalf of all players. We thank those players and acknowledge it’s not easy to do that.

“Protecting players collectively in this area will continue to be a major focus for us as we prepare for the next ICC Events cycle as well. FICA is supportive of fair, win-win, non-exploitative commercial opportunities. We would welcome any further player feedback or queries as we continue to work through these processes in conjunction with players’ associations.”

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