Student Athlete Name Image & Likeness

IIPSJ supports the right for student-athletes to be able to be compensated for their NIL and seeks to empower and educate student-athletes as they seek to learn more about these rights and monetize them.  This page features resources and information on the subject.

What is NIL?

Name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights are package of rights in one’s own identity that make up the right of publicity. The right of publicity is the right of people to control the commercial use of their identity. These rights are freely assignable, so people may grant an interested party the use of their name, image, and/or likeness in exchange for compensation. These rights are the basis for professional athletes, actresses, and celebrities alike to endorse a product or service in advertisements or promotional dealings.

For decades, the NCAA, in an effort to maintain what they deem a spirit of “amateurism” in college sports, have required that athletes relinquish rights to monetize their NIL in order to participate in NCAA athletic competitions. Recently, the NCAA has eliminated this prohibition on potential athlete earnings in response to a wave of state legislation barring schools from adhering to NCAA rules on NIL.

Articles, Blog Posts, & Videos

IIPSJ Blog Post
A Historic Victory for Student Athlete’s IP Rights—The NCAA Changes NIL Compensation Rules

The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ) applauds the NCAA rule change to allow student athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.  Read more on the rule change.

JULY 2021

IIPSJ Blog Post
Status Update on Student Athlete NIL Legislation

Update on status of state and federal NIL legislation.

JUNE 2021

Annual CLE – Right of Publicity Update

LaTessa Gray and Ron Katz provide updates to the policy-making discussion around NIL in college sports. Jonathan Goins also provides an update on right of publicity issues in the entertainment world.

MARCH 2021

IIPSJ Blog Post

NCAA’S Proposed NIL Regulations are an Antitrust Violation Waiting to Happen
Ron Katz examines NIL regulations proposed by the NCAA from an antitrust perspective.


IIPSJ Blog Post
IP Empowerment for All

The Howard University School of Law’s Intellectual Property Student Association expresses criticism towards the patchwork-approach taken by states to individually enact name and likeness policy, and the body advocates for a federal bill allowing student-athletes to profit off their NIL.



Annual CLE discussion on NIL Legislation and NCAA Regulations
Ron Katz and Jonathan Goins lecture on the NCAA’s historic exploitation of collegiate athletes, the nonexistence of amateurism in college sports, and questions arising out of a wave of NIL policy among state legislatures notably California’s “Fair Pair to Play Act.”

MARCH 2020

IIPSJ Blog Post
Recent NIL Legislation Will Change the NCAA (or Not)

Ron Katz outlines the injustice created by the NCAA’s policies and discusses the competing views relating to NIL policy.


IIPSJ Journal Article

Publicity Rights and the First Amendment: Balancing Athletes and Other Celebrity Interests
Professor Lateef Mtima writes on the historical development of the right of publicity doctrine, and the various tests used by courts in right of publicity doctrine, and prominent cases relating to professional and student-athlete right of publicity issues.


IIPSJ Journal Article
Mapping the Parameters of the Right Publicity Rights: Identifying and Balancing Competing First Amendment Interests

Professor Lateef Mtima writes on the historical development of the right of publicity doctrine, and the various balancing tests courts have used in evaluating when that right has been violated.


IIPSJ Journal Article

What’s Mine Is Mine but What’s Yours Is Ours: IP Imperialism, the Right of Publicity, and Intellectual Property Social Justice in the Digital Information Age
Professor Lateef Mtima writes in the SMU Science and Technology Law Review concerning the imperialist nature of the intellectual property law regime, especially in right of publicity doctrine, and proposes a view for courts to undertake in their analysis stressing more social utility based considerations.


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