MLB Threatens Guy Who Made A Cool iPhone App For Baseball Fans
from the there's-thick-headed-and-then-there's-mlb dept
It’s really disappointing watching various sports leagues abuse intellectual property law over and over again. Perhaps the worst offender has been Major League Baseball. MLB wants people to think that it owns absolutely everything having to do with baseball, even though the courts have shot it down repeatedly. Even when it may be legally correct, its moves tend to do more to harm the game than to help it. It’s as if MLB wants to keep shooting itself in the foot. The latest example was sent in by William Jackson, who points out that MLB is threatening the guy who made a neat Baseball app for the iPhone.
MLB has its own baseball app for the iPhone, which costs $5, that shows scores and highlights — but this free app doesn’t compete with that one. Instead, it’s basically a baseball encyclopedia, allowing fans to look up all sorts of interesting historical stats and information. In other words, it’s the sort of thing that helps fans feel even more connected to the game. So what does MLB do? It complains that the guy has the actual logos of Major League teams in the app. MLB argues that this is trademark infringement, but that’s questionable. This is helping to promote those major league teams, not harm or dilute their brand in any way.