Fantasy baseball leagues are allowed to use player names and statistics without licensing agreements because they are not the intellectual property of Major League Baseball, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Baseball and its players have no right to prevent the use of names and playing records, U.S. District Court Judge Mary Ann Medler in St. Louis ruled in a 49-page summary judgment.
Major League Baseball claimed that intellectual property laws and so-called “right of publicity” make it illegal for fantasy leagues to make money off the identities and stats of professional players.
But even if the players could claim the right of publicity against commercial ventures by others, Medler wrote, the First Amendment takes precedent because CBC, which runs CDM Fantasy Sports, is disseminating the same statistical information found in newspapers every day.
Here‘s the decision.