by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 4th 2009 6:06pm
Recent court rulings have made it clear that sports leagues have overreached (by a long shot) in trying to force online fantasy sports sites to license player info. The courts have pointed out that player names and stats are factual information, not subject to copyright. Now, this has resulted in many fantasy sports sites to skip renewing any licensing deals. The NFL Players Assocation, despite already having lost such a case, still went to Yahoo and threatened it with a lawsuit over this issue. It appears Yahoo decided to be proactive and sued for a declaratory judgment that its uses of player info was not in violation. It's an aggressive move by Yahoo -- but it also shows (reasonably) that the company believes that it's likely to win (and, perhaps, that it was worried about whatever district the NFL PA would have filed its own lawsuit in). Either way, it's yet another chance to remind sports leagues that they don't get to copyright factual information.
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