Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Recent US Copyright Case

"CBS's Internet unit won the right to use National Football League players' names and statistics for free in fantasy sports leagues it sponsors after a judge ruled the information is in the public domain. The ruling is the latest setback for professional sports leagues and players unions looking to control the fantasy market. "

Similar result to IceTV in Australia?

4 comments:

Romantic Girl said...

The ruling in this case, which was about FOOTBALL players upheld a federal appeals court decision in 2007 that companies operating fantasy leagues have a First Amendment right to use names and data of BASEBALL players without paying a licensing fee.

In this ruling U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery said “The court declines to indulge in a philosophical debate about whether the public is more fascinated with baseball or football.”

I can only imagine the controversy if they had entered into that debate.

Trenton Schreurs said...

The baseball and football debate in the U.S. would have been one to watch.

As a fantasy league player myself, I could not engage in a competition which did not resemble the professional, and human competition.

Elena Tsangari said...

I think it is disappointing that this matter was even allowed to proceed in court. What a ridiculous notion that a player’s name and their statistics – information that is freely available in the public domain – could somehow have any copyright attached to it. This ruling is a great result for completion - now the fantasy sporting market, a growing industry cannot be controlled by a select few.

James said...

The case is CBS Interactive Inc. v. National Football League Players Association Inc., 08-5097, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (Minneapolis).

It appears to be a good decision. Ultimately, sports players are in the business of entertainment - and they are paid incredibly well to do what they do.

Copyright in a sportsman's name and statistics to prevent their use in a fantasy league reeks of greediness.

By all means, David Beckham is free to flog off cologne and hair products with his name on them. I'm not convinced that he has copyright in the number of goals he scored for Manchester United.