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.

Filed Under: logos, trademark
Companies: mlb

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Corked Sammy, 24 Aug 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.