CBS Goes To Court To Let The NFL Know That You Can't Copyright Player Stats

from the and-it's-correct dept

Over the past few years, there have been a series of lawsuits concerning whether or not fantasy baseball operators need to license player info from Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball lost at every level and an eventual appeal to the Supreme Court was turned down. However, it appears that the National Football League wanted to ignore these rulings, and has still been trying to get fantasy sports sites to pony up to use stats and player info — despite the fact that you cannot copyright facts. CBS is now challenging the NFL on this, and has gone to court to get a declaratory judgment that it doesn’t need a license. It’s difficult to see this case turning out any differently than the MLB cases, considering the facts of the case are almost identical.

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Companies: cbs, mlb, nfl

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Comments on “CBS Goes To Court To Let The NFL Know That You Can't Copyright Player Stats”

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eleete (user link) says:

Re: they can

That may not be exactly true in some instances.

What made this case so difficult is that while a lexicon is a compilation of facts, and you can’t copyright facts, Rowling’s books are invented facts, hence original and inventive. So a compilation of her invented facts isn’t the same as a compilation of facts about World War I or Elvis, or any other actual event or person.

Anonymous Coward says:

I still can’t understand why the NFL would do something so stupid as to piss of the fans, the only people that make their life possible… If not for Fantasy a lot of people would stop following football all together. Instead of watching 5 or 6 games on a Sunday I would only maybe watch 1 (my local team). Just seems stupid to go after the fans, maybe they should cut back on player salaries and their overhead wouldn’t be so high.

Michial (user link) says:

Re: Its all about the fans

If NFL had any care what’s so ever for the fans Jerry Jones would not be allowed to use Taxes collected from the local area to build his new stadium, then come along and charge $16000 or more JUST for the privilage of buying a $400+ per game season ticket….

When the announced the new stadium was being built, I had hoped to finally get the chance to buy season tickets to see the Cowboys play. Damn was I wrong, even if I could afford $400 per seat per game there is no chance in hell of paying the $16000 per seat for the privilage..

What he has done for me is turn me against the game completely and now I won’t even watch the cowboys on TV.

I hope the NFL dies and burns in hell, it’s lost grasp of the fact that the fans built the game long ago.

Anonymous Coward says:

what we need

What we need is a law that says if you make a false copyright claim you may be penalized just like someone would for a copyright violation. There are a lot of gray areas around copyright, so copyright owners would be hesitant to step into them. In practice, most of the gray areas should go to fair use. Objectively, society would benefit if the gray areas are fair use.

Fushta says:

CBS is Big

It’s nice to see somebody taking on the NFL on this issue. CBS is big enough (i.e. wealthy enough) to take on the financial hit.

Mike keeps saying that facts cannot be copyrighted (with good reason), but wouldn’t it be a surprise to get a judge that thinks otherwise? If the NFL didn’t have a game, the facts wouldn’t exist. Therefore, since the NFL teams/player “created” the facts, they own the rights to said facts.

Howard_NYC says:

I am suing the NFL

the use of “National” in their self-applied title is a falsehood, given how few cities have teams…

also, the USA was a nation before there was an NFL and therefore has copyright…

this should be a profitable sort of lawsuit… next up… NBA, NHL, NBC, …skies the limit… tee hee…

…not that I’m a lawyer or another of the lifeforms parasiting off the body economic

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