Union representatives for professional athletes are against a proposal that would change how the rights to their likenesses are protected in Michigan law.

Morris Peterson of the NBA’s Oklahoma City franchise joined current and former athletes from several sports Wednesday to tell a state House committee they oppose the current version of  “right of publicity” legislation.

They say the measure would make it too easy for video game and souvenir manufacturers to use their likenesses without athletes’ permission.

The bill’s supporters say it is aimed at protecting attributes of a personality that have commercial value. The athletes said the current proposal has too many exemptions.

The House Judiciary Committee did not vote on the bill.
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The legislation is House Bill 5964.
  
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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