Who owns that batting average?
Question: What could be more All-American than fantasy baseball? Answer: A legal feud over the player stats that fuel the billion dollar industry. Ars Technica traces the surprising controversy from its roots during the golden age of Topps trading cards to the current dispute between Major League Baseball and CBC Distribution and Marketing, owner of fantasy sports site CDMsports.com. The bottom line question is whether players own their stats in the same way that they own their images.

Both MLB and the players' union argue the stats are theirs to sell, but prior case law suggests that the First Amendment protects "publishing statistics, even for business purposes." Should MLB win in the current case, Ars points out that "the ramifications could extend to how or if a real person may be portrayed in a book or movie, or even whether certain questions such as those concerning baseball players could be used in a game like Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy."
Posted by Oliver Ryan 10:38 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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