Major League Baseball Deletes Popular MySpace Page For Using Cubs Logo

from the how-many-fans-can-we-alienate-this-week? dept

By now, it certainly shouldn't come as any surprise that Major League Baseball mis-interprets various intellectual property laws to pretend is has total control over certain content. After all, this is the organization that has insisted repeatedly that it owns facts, despite court after court explaining that facts aren't copyrightable. MLB also seems confused about copyright law when it comes to the legality of placeshifting. In the past, MLB also freaked out about fan websites potentially violating trademarks -- but that was a long time ago. Or so we thought. Apparently the fun lawyers at MLB shut down an immensely popular MySpace page for Chicago Cubs fans that was linked to a fan website called Cubbies Baseball. That fan website actually has a license to use the official Chicago Cubs logo, but MLB claims that the license didn't extend to MySpace as well -- just the Cubbies Baseball site. King Kaufman, the sports writer at Salon, blames MLB for not asking the owner of the site to remove the logo -- but puts more blame on MySpace for simply shutting down the site the second MLB complained, without giving any warning. He seems to think MLB isn't totally in the wrong in demanding the logo be removed, but again that's not necessarily true. If the site was clear that it was a fan site and had no official endorsement or association with the Cubs, it should be fair use to use the logo. MLB trots out the tired explanation that it has to defend its trademarks or risk losing them, but that's not so in a case where there's an obvious fair use exception. Either way, from a common sense standpoint, it's ridiculous for MySpace and MLB to shut down a vibrant fan community -- and it's made worse when you realize that the use of the logo probably isn't even a real violation of trademark law.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    Wow. I thought it was just the RIAA but I guess everyone is jumping on the whole 'kill off your customer base' bandwagon.

     

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    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 1:45pm

    The beatings will continue until

    moral improves.

    OR

    MLB and RIAA will continue to sue, harass and otherwise irritate their customers until revenues increase.

    Put these guys in with the old-style newspapers.

     

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    identicon
    Steve, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 1:51pm

    Dear Author:

    In non-fiction material, a paragraph starts with the main point, followed by sentences with supporting details. The non-fiction paragraph goes from the general to the specific to advance an argument or point of view. Each paragraph builds on what came before and lays the ground for what comes next. Paragraphs generally range two to eight sentences all combined in a single paragraphed statement.

    Or, in net-speak: Learn2rite n00b!

     

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      jLl, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

      Re: Dear Author:

      Only if you're anal-retentive or have a rod in your ass holding your spine straight and "proper."

      Writing courses, above 8th grade (no insult intended from this), do teach that there are acceptable variations to the "standards" emphasized in lower grades. This includes lead-in sentences that, in this case, explain relavent past events that do constructively add to how informative the entire article is.

      Not saying your writing "rules" are wrong. Just, try to get creative and interesting in your writing style rather than being a boring drone.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Aug 24th, 2007 @ 2:14pm

      Re: Dear Author:

      You need to learn to live outside of your little structured world and be free, man!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 3:40pm

      Re: Dear Author:

      posting the exact same comment on two different posts?? *yawn*

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Hm. Yeah.

    Great way to generate/sustain fandom for a dying sport - go after the fans that use your logo on their crappy sites.

    Proving, once again, how damn intelligent the professional sports world is! =)

    Next week, Mike "Dawg Killa" Vick's plea deal!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    WHat!, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 1:59pm

    Go figure

    Pretty petty- Just raise ticket prices again to cover any revenue loss from a die hard fan utilizing a logo.

     

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    identicon
    Overcast, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 2:31pm

    Good idea!!

    Those peskey fans shouldn't be allowed to use the logo for ANY reason!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    agree with GoblinJuice

    I was a big time baseball fan ... dumb move chicago CUB

     

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      Corked Sammy, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 7:51pm

      Cubs org had nothing to do with this

      This was all Major League Baseball, not the Cubs.

      MLB somehow gets away with having a monopoly on the sport, and the thing about power is that it gets old fast unless you (ab)use it.

      MLB needs a beatdown from DOJ.

       

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    That Guy, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 2:57pm

    I agree..but it was legal

    I totally agree that MLB is bullying their own fan base, and continually isolates their fans. Just goes to show that Comish Bud Selig really doesn't know what he's doing.

    BUT that being said it actually is a pretty clear that if you use copyrighted images your account will be deleted. It says it right above the image upload button. So since Myspace doesn't self police for copyright violations it pretty much leaves the door wide open for tattle tale lawyers to pull the virtual trigger to get an account deleted.

    What MLB should have done was messaged the account owner and tried to get an understanding in place where the account wouldn't get deleted. But hey, when was the last time you remember a bully saying "please."

     

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    Eric the Grey, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 3:32pm

    This begs the question...

    Did the MLB and MySpace violate anything by having the entire page brought down?

    Kind of like a certain movie studio forcing a lot of content off of YouTube when it didn't belong to them. I would think that the only thing the MLB could force offline would be the logo.


    EtG

     

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    FigureSkatingCommentator, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 7:28pm

    M:B are not the only ones

    Some people can be real jerks about that, and not just MLB. I broadcast stats and scores from sports on my online radio station, and I had a run-in last December with a couple of admins at the popular figure skating forum known as Figure Skating Universe, becuase they have the idea that facts are copyrightable, when they are not. So MLB is not the only organisation that thinks that facts are copyrightable.

     

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    identicon
    JustMatt, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 6:10am

    Re: Dear Author:

    Whupps! You screwed up. If one is going to take the moral high ground about the rules of writing one should be very careful not to violate said rules.

    You copied the Wikipedia definition essentially word for word and (wait for it) you neglected to provide the source citation!

    "In non-fiction material, a paragraph starts with the main point, followed by sentences with supporting details. The non-fiction paragraph goes from the general to the specific to advance an argument or point of view. Each paragraph builds on what came before and lays the ground for what comes next. Paragraphs generally range two to eight sentences all combined in a single paragraphed statement."
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paragraph


    Also, perhaps you are new here, but the writing style employed by Mike is more conversational than you are exposed to there in high school.

    Finally, calling someone a 'n00b' is the best way to identify yourself as one.

     

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