DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

Chin Music...

Major League Baseball Advanced Media, i.e., MLB.com, the marketing arm of Major League Baseball, took one in the earflap yesterday as a judge ruled that MLB cannot copyright facts. I've mentioned the case before. MLBAM has been charging license fees to the companies that run fantasy baseball leagues for the use of its statistics, taking the position that MLB owns all the data generated from its games. Despite the dubious legitimacy of that claim, the fantasy leagues paid the extortion, as did the video and computer game makers. (This led to the current state of affairs where there is currently no licensed PC-based computer baseball game, because MLB granted an exclusive license to a company that only produces games for video consoles.)

MLBAM denied a license to one fantasy game company, so that company went ahead and used the stats anyway, and also filed a lawsuit against MLBAM to have the statistics recognized as factual information that is not protected by copyright. MLBAM argued that it was not about copyright, but instead about the right to publicity, i.e., the use of someone's likeness for profit. The judge didn't buy any of it, pretty much airing them out like Charlie Brown on the pitchers mound in rejecting all of MLBAM's arguments in finding for the plaintiffs.

Maury Brown has the text of the decision here, and there's a brief discussion at the Griddle as well. One thing that was brought up over there is that video and computer games still aren't completely free and clear of licensing requirements, especially if they want to use things like team logos and uniforms. It should be a boon to text-based games, like Strat-o-Matic and Out of the Park baseball, though.

ION, my hand is still swollen, and is itching like crazy. I count five separate places on my thumb where I got stung the other night. The good news is that my midnight attack with the bug bomb seems to have wiped out the nest, so I'll be able to use the grill again.
Tags: baseball, games, health, yard

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