The Fantasy Football Saga Continues-Yahoo! Sues NFL Players Association Over Player Stats? Extra! Extra! Read All About It: Fantasy Sports Goes Back
On June 3, 2009 Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune writer Jenna Ross reported “Yahoo! Sues for fantasy football information.” According to Ross’s report, “In 2007, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that CBC Distribution and Marketing and advertising Inc. could use Significant League Baseball players’ names and statistics for its fantasy baseball merchandise — without having paying a fee. The U.S. Supreme Court elected not to review the case.” So the question is whether or not Yahoo!’s fantasy football lawsuit will play out like CBS’s fantasy baseball case. One factor Yahoo! has in its favor, states Ross, is that the suit has been filed in Minnesota where U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery ruled against the NFL Players Association and for CBS.
Weigh In on the Validity or Stupidity of Yahoo!’s case: Can the NFL Players Association Triumph This Time?
The Fantasy Trade Association Speaks Out
In a statement to the Star Tribune host of Fantasy Football Weekly on KFAN Radio and president of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Paul Charchian said, “These leagues have merely smelled funds and tried to go after it any way they could.” So is it accurate that the NFL Players Association is just just out to tax fantasy sports enthusiasts or is there some thing more?
ProFootballTalk.com Explains Far more Details of the Fantasy Football Case
Mike Floria of ProFootballTalk.com posted this in the early morning on June 4, 2009, “Essentially, Yahoo! is searching for a judicial declaration that its intention to operate a fantasy football game in 2009 without paying fees to the NFLPA is legally proper. And, barring some thing unforeseen, Yahoo! most likely will prevail.” Nevertheless, just a little much more than four hours later Floria, after a deeper investigation of Yahoo!’s suit changed his tune. “And, as it turns out, the lawsuit attempts not only to utilize without compensation the names of the players, but also likenesses (such as, without limitation, numbers), pictures, photographs, voices, facsimile signatures and/or biographical details (which includes but not restricted to player statistics),” Floria writes in his post. “In our view, if Yahoo! desires to enhance the standard name-and-stats fantasy experience, Yahoo! possibly ought to have to pay for the capability to use likenesses, photos, voices, etc,” he concludes.
Every person is Talking About Fantasy Sports, Even Academia!
The Ludwig von Mises Institute is an intellectual hub with educational and research facilities situated in Auburn Alabama, but even they are talking about the Yahoo! case. Mises Economics Weblog contributor S.M. Oliva stated on June 4, 2009, “Not all intellectual property entails copyrights, patents, or trademarks. Several states recognize a ‘right of publicity’ that permits a individual — or in some circumstances a decedent’s estate — to control the use of one’s name, likeness, and image for commercial purposes.” Oliva then clarified the Yahoo! lawsuit’s main question, “Are player names, data, and statistics the “intellectual property” of the players vis-à-vis the proper of publicity?” So what will the answer be? Here are some points to consider:
–The Very first Amendment has been found to supplant the “correct of publicity”
–The Federal copyright law might supersede the assertion that player names, stats and other info are the intellectual property of the NFLPA
–Sports leagues and Player’s Associations have the right to create and market their own fantasy games if they wanted a larger piece of the market
–A player does not develop individual statistics stats are a quantification of events that have already occurred.
So what will the outcome be? We will just have to keep watching, but Oliva says it best, “Fantasy sports haven’t taken away from the pie they’ve made it larger for every person.”