Re: MLB trying to copyright player's statistics
(1) Maybe the ol' FlightRick has had a long, booze-soaked night and is on the brink of crashing, but it seems to me that what you describe ("virtual simulations" and whatnot) bears zero resemblance to anything having to do with the collection and synethesis of baseball statistics. Let MLB make "virtual simulation" games where there are graphics or doctored video footage of Player A vs. Player B. That has ZERO to do with the simple matter of observing what happened when Player A faced Team X in real life, and then entering it into the historical record.
(2) It seems, WMR, that you are attached primarly to the idea of fantasy baseball being a profitable industry that is somehow leeching off of MLB. But you can't just arbitrarily pick a single scenario as being unfair and lash out against it. You have to argue from basic, logical principles that hold true universarlly. I think that's Kant. Or something. I forget. But it's good, simple common sense. And when you take the argument that baseball stats are somehow MLB's "property," and try to apply that universally, you end up in a place where your local newspaper can't even report the final score of a game. Because the outcome is Property of MLB. And that, I am sad to report, is quite dumb. So you have to keep looking for a different principle to apply here.
(3) And this is where I go back to my analogy above, about movie production. I just threw it out there, but I've decided I like it. Look: how many people saw "The Sopranos" on Sunday? Generous estimates place that number at 12 million people. But how many people know it ended with ten seconds of black screen in the middle of a climactic scene and have somehow commented or joked about that fact? Probably 120 million. Can HBO sue the pants off of the 108 million people who make up that difference? Hell, no. And that goes whether the one of the 108 million is me (who can't make a dime off of knowing how "The Sopranos" ended) or is Conan O'Brien (who gets paid millions per year to make jokes, and has been using this as a gag for 3 nights, now). Simple reason dictates that even if you create something, once you display it and enter it into the public record, people are going to know about it.
And you can't stop them.
So why bother trying, unless you're really, really dumb?
I say let MLB have all the rights and ownership over video and audio and crap like that. But nobody "owns" a home run. Nobody owns a strikeout. Hell, nobody owns a foul tip. MLB trying to own statistics is like the US Government trying to retroactively lay claim to owning the Gettysberg Address in an attempt to sue the pants off of anybody who happened to read about what words were uttered that day.
It just makes no rational sense. To me, anyway.....