Baseball’s suit is pure fantasy

June 15, 2007

At what point is this going to stop? Courts have rules time and again that suits like this one, trying to control fantasy sports, are groundless. If it isn’t a major baseball league trying to claim ownership of players names and the stats they produce, it’s someone suing Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline for “inventing” a game that existed thirty years before they heard of it.
clipped from www.businessweek.com

MLB takes fantasy league to court

Attorneys representing Major League Baseball argued Thursday that online fantasy baseball companies cannot operate without paying license fees to MLB to compensate players for the use of their names.

A federal appeals panel of three judges seemed skeptical that MLB could take financial control of a game that uses publicly available statistics and widely known names of players.

“MLB is like a public religion. Everyone knows (the players’) names and what they look like,” said U.S. Judge Morris Arnold. “This is just part of being an American, isn’t it?”

Major League Baseball is appealing a lower court judgment last year that ruled St. Louis-based CBC Distribution and Marketing Inc. does not have to pay licensing fees for MLB players’ names and statistics as fodder for online fantasy league games.

Telscher said fantasy leagues were not unlike newspapers, which use sports players’ names in their pages to draw readers.
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