I am thinking of creating a soccer game, can I use real player name / images in this game or are there any legal implications? For example can I use Lionel Messi and his image on a card?

Thanks for your help and time

  • 3
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about legal issues.
    – jwodder
    Dec 9, 2014 at 13:27
  • @jwodder Consider linking to a meta topic where it was decided that legal issues are specifically off topic. Otherwise, as far as I can tell, this question is about legal issues as well as board games, and it is therefore on topic (assuming that it is otherwise not too broad, opinionated, etc.).
    – Rainbolt
    Dec 9, 2014 at 15:38
  • @Rain I think the topic was addressed previously at meta.boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/1129/…
    – bwarner
    Dec 9, 2014 at 16:06
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is not best answered by a board game expert.
    – Rainbolt
    Dec 9, 2014 at 16:33
  • 1
    @bwarner Whoops, I got your names confused. Reposting so it makes sense: Pat Ludwig's post says that each question should be judged on a case by case basis. Jwodder's first comment implies that all questions about legal issues are automatically off topic. That hasn't actually been established. Don't get me wrong - I agree that this question is off topic. I just disagree with the "catch all" reasoning.
    – Rainbolt
    Dec 9, 2014 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


Images tend to be copyrighted. You'd have to take into consideration both the rights of the photographer, and the depicted person. I'd expect you would have to get both the player's and the photographer's permission to use the images. That permission will most likely cost you a lot of money, especially for people like Messi.

You should probably just read this Wikipedia page about photography and the law. The biggest problem is that copyright law is different in each country. Depending on where you are and where your game will be made available, you'd need to simultaneously comply to a bunch of different countries' copyright laws.


No. This type of use tends to be blocked by Copyright, Trademark and/or Publicity Rights laws in many jurisdictions, and it's the type of use that tends to land people in court even when it's legal.

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