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Old 07-21-2006, 09:24 AM   #1
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Johnny Damon's Agent Goes After Bib Selling Mom

I wonder if he knows about all the t-shirts in Boston. Believe me, he wouldn't "endorse" those. Does anyone else think it's ludicrous, for such a highly paid athlete's agent to go after a Mom who is just trying to make a little bit of money and have a business of her own? His agent is quite overzealous, I'd say.

BOSTON (AP) -- A Red Sox fan angry that Johnny Damon defected to the New York Yankees has fought off an attempt by his high-powered agent to stop her from selling baby bibs with a very grown-up insult.

Tucked among the "I Love My Mommy" bibs and "Pregnant Princess" maternity clothes, Ann Sylvia also offers bibs and onesies adorned with the ballpark epithet "Damon Sucks." Last month, eBay pulled the listings after the Scott Boras Corp. complained that they violated Damon's right of publicity, a legal claim that allows celebrities to control the products they endorse.

Sylvia hadn't sold any of the Damon items at the time, but the complaint threatened to blemish her eBay rating and jeopardize her PowerSeller status."

.... "This is one of the more ridiculous cases we've seen arising out of eBay," said Greg Beck, an attorney who helped Sylvia with her case. "If a sports figure could sue for infringement of the right of publicity every time a fan criticized him, we'd have chaos in the court system."

And the ballpark.

Asked about the dispute at Yankee Stadium this week, Damon said he was unaware of it and referred questions to Boras. Calls seeking comment from Lubner were not returned.

"Sports figures like Johnny Damon are important people in our society, and the First Amendment protects the right of the public to freely comment on them," said Beck, who works for the Public Citizen Litigation Group. "Johnny Damon doesn't get to control what people say about him."
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