On Friday, February 22, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P. (“MLBAM”) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (“MLBPA”) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court (No. 07-1099), seeking to overturn the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the first amendment protects free use of baseball players’ names and statistics in fantasy sports games. MLBAM and the MLBPA both contend that the Eighth Circuit’s ruling fails to properly balance important concerns about state-law publicity rights against first amendment interests. . .
Neither MLBAM nor CBC is the most sympathetic of parties. MLBAM is attempting to exploit the acquisition of its exclusive license over major league baseball players’ names to build dominant control over fantasy baseball. Meanwhile, CBC—operating under the trade name CDM Sports—sells entries into high-roller fantasy sports contests for fees sometimes ranging upwards of $1,000. The CDM Sports website performs limited informational purposes, making CDM Sports different from sites like Yahoo.com and ESPN.com that provide free fantasy baseball games incidental to their regular sports news coverage.
Nevertheless, this case produces an important legal question about the manner in which courts should strike the balance between enforcing state-law publicity rights and first amendment protections.
Nice little treatment here, though I might not quite so starkly posit the question in terms of rights of publicity versus the First Amerndment. Maybe these aren’t really enforceable rights, period.
I guess David Lat’s aiming to put me out of business by offering IP blogging on his powerful platform — just lashing out in general, I guess, after the humiliation of having Facebook take him down a notch.
But I will always love him, anyway.
UPDATE: Called third strike.