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Thread: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

  1. #1
    Member GullyFoyle's Avatar
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    MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Some of you may remember that last year MLB was sued for trying to copyright players stats in order to force fantasy leagues to pay fees.

    MLB... "argues that through an agreement with the player's union, it alone has the right to use or permit the use of the player's names and likenesses. As statistics are such an integral part of baseball, they are an extension of the player's likeness: few people talk about Jim Thome's face, but his batting average is all-important to baseball fans. Therefore, in the eyes of MLB, the unlicensed CBC should be stopped from running fantasy leagues based on MLB stats."
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    In august the court made the following ruling:

    A federal judge threw MLB a curveball yesterday, ruling that CBC Distribution (and other fantasy leagues) has every right to use game stats and player likenesses. In her ruling, Judge Mary Ann Medler found that the First Amendment takes precedence over MLB's "right of publicity." Since the stats that fantasy sites use are readily available in newspapers and online, they are not the exclusive property of MLB.
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    Now MLB is back in Appeals court:

    In announcing plans to appeal the case, MLB decided that focusing on the stats was the wrong way to go. "We've agreed that the stats and names are in the public domain," MLB Advanced Media spokesman Gallagher said after the ruling. "But when you start to use team's logos and other images as CBC did, you need a license, it's that simple."

    Instead, MLB's lawyers once again made the argument that publicity rights were of paramount concern, according to the AP. One of MLB's attorneys said that a fantasy league using names and stats without permission was analogous to a company printing posters or coffee mugs with pictures of players on them without permission. The judges appeared to be skeptical of MLB's arguments. "MLB is like a public religion. Everyone knows (the players') names and what they look like," opined U.S. Judge Morris Arnold. "This is just part of being an American, isn't it?"
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    I'm not sure how many have been watching, but MLB is upset that people are making money with "their" statistics. Now that they have conceded that stats are in the public domain it sounds like they are saying you can use the stats but you can't use the players names or likenesses.

    If this is a dupe thread feel free to remove. But I thought this was an interesting legal battle. When does public celebrity cause names and likenesses to enter into the public domain.

    Some of RZ's legal experts can probably put more light on the subject but it looks like MLB is going to have a tough argument on their hands.

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  3. #2
    Reds Slacker '07 RedsMan3203's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    I don't understand why MLB would be doing this.... Its rather stupid to me...

    Because if they get to "own" their stats, and no one else gets to use them... Then they are going to lose ALOT more money when people stop watching the game, and stop going to it.

    If they think they are losing money now, wait till they get their way....
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  4. #3
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Intellectual property law is simply absurd in most cases.

  5. #4
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Let MLB try to wring additional dollars out of the TV, newspaper and radio outlets that continually publish names, teams, and player statistics. because I fail to see a difference from what, for instance, the Washington Post sports section is doing, and what a fantasy baseball league is doing.

    MLB just looks ridiculous in this case--worse than the RIAA suing grandma.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  6. #5
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    I dont care what MLB thinks is unfair. They are exempt from a monopoly. Any ruling should really be looked at with that in mind.

  7. #6
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    I'm sure the $ impact must be significant. I can't see them carrying on this argument for a matter of principle.

  8. #7
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    I'm sure the $ impact must be significant. I can't see them carrying on this argument for a matter of principle.
    I don't see them carrying on *any* argument as a matter of principle.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Interestingly, the NCAA is running down a similar path as told this NY Times article about a blogger for the Louisville Courier-Journal doing a live blog of the Louisville Oklahoma State baseball game. This is similar to what Trent does on his blog. The NCAA argues that it violates their agreements with reporters and they're considering it a "live broadcast" subject to their approval. I think they're missing the boat too (and to boot, they cutting off their nose to spite their face as the blog allows real-time interest in their product. Very short sighted.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/sp...prod=permalink

    I think MLB's being greedy and they ultimately risk losing their anti-trust immunity, I think.

  10. #9
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    Interestingly, the NCAA is running down a similar path as told this NY Times article about a blogger for the Louisville Courier-Journal doing a live blog of the Louisville Oklahoma State baseball game. This is similar to what Trent does on his blog. The NCAA argues that it violates their agreements with reporters and they're considering it a "live broadcast" subject to their approval. I think they're missing the boat too (and to boot, they cutting off their nose to spite their face as the blog allows real-time interest in their product. Very short sighted.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/sp...prod=permalink

    I think MLB's being greedy and they ultimately risk losing their anti-trust immunity, I think.
    So they think we arent allowed to report our experiences regarding the venue while you are there? Niiice.

  11. #10
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    The game threads would be at risk, if they could find any evidence that we were actually following the game.

    I wonder if we'll have to start speaking in code, referring to Abner Dean, Edward Carnation and Kurt Grimley Jr.

  12. #11
    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    The game threads would be at risk, if they could find any evidence that we were actually following the game.

    I wonder if we'll have to start speaking in code, referring to Abner Dean, Edward Carnation and Kurt Grimley Jr.
    "Fantastic bowl ole' chap. That finishes off the set as each batsman is dismissed..."

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    Hisssssssss Yachtzee's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Once again, another example of public figures and big piles of cash that stand behind them trying to abuse IP law to wring more cash out of the public. If you stage a public event in a place of public accommodation, you can't go back and try to reclaim control over the publicity of the event afterwards. I feel that once you do that, the facts concerning the event, including stats and player's likenesses, become part of the public domain.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

  14. #13
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Perhaps the fans should sue every time they're shown on the Kiss Cam.

  15. #14
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    Perhaps the fans should sue every time they're shown on the Kiss Cam.
    Especially if your parole officer is there and you've violated your probation!

    [caveat: of course, I'm not implying that BCubb2003 has a parole officer!]

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    Re: MLB trying to Copyright Stats, continued

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    I wonder if we'll have to start speaking in code, referring to Abner Dean, Edward Carnation and Kurt Grimley Jr.
    I've copyrighted those fictitious names. You'll hear from my lawyers.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle


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