Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fantasy Baseball players can relax.

A judge has ruled that players' names and statistics (as a result of games) are not the intellectual property of Major League Baseball.

In what seems to be a logical ruling, the judge said that the names and statistics are not "copyrightable" and that if there were a right of publicity to be infringed, those rights are lost because newspapers publish the exact same information every day.

Why would Major League Baseball think that players' names and stats fall under copyright law? Is it because the games are broadcast in a fixed medium on TV and radio?

In the United States, the following classifications of expressions of ideas are bound by copyright law: (1) literary works; (2) musical works, including any accompanying words; (3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music; (4) pantomimes and choreographic works; (5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; (6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works; (7) sound recordings; and (8) architectural works.

But those broadcasts would be audiovisual or sound recordings. They would not be the games themselves. Here, there needs to be a separation of thought. The rights in the broadcast vs. the rights that may exist in the game itself.

(Unless baseball is a pantomimed or choreographed work? But, somehow, I think that only describes professional wrestling.)

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home