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Fantasy Leagues get a boost from legal ruling

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Reality, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    Normally, this would be posted in the Fantasy Zone especially since the ruling was regarding Major League Baseball. However, this was a legal win for the fans and should apply toward other leagues such as fantasy football so I felt it was newsworthy enough to be posted in The Zone for a short time.

    -Reality
  2. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    It would seem to me that this should expand to video games, no?

    (ESPN Resurgance?)
  3. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    That would go under the category of "depends".
  4. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    more negative press for MLB

    These idiots wonder why their league has fallen so far behind the NFL.
  5. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Actually I thought about it more. Number one, I think they get license from the NFLPA as far as names go.

    Further, they may not have the name issue, but they durn sure have to get licensing from the NFL to gain rights to team names/icons/etc.

    IOW - My original post is null and void.:cool:
  6. TheHustler

    TheHustler Active Member

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    Wow.

    What is MLB thinking? Remove something that causes fans to have interest in more games than they normally would.

    Yeah, that's a good idea.
  7. ajk23az

    ajk23az Through Pain Comes Clarity

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    i know i wouldnt be that much of a baseball fan if it wasnt for fantasy baseball, i ALMOST like fantasy baseball more than fball bc of all the number crunching...
  8. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    Fantasy Leagues do not need to use team names, icons, etc. to function. They need player names and stats to function. That's what makes this ruling so important.

    -Reality
  9. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    It's really not that groundbreaking of a decision. The MLB for whatever reason thought that facts (which is all statistics are) were copyrightable. They never have and never will be.
  10. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    Actually, it is a major groundbreaking decision. MLB was going after sites using their stats in the past with C&D orders and threats of lawsuits and now one company stood up and said no.

    I do not play fantasy league sports but I hate when companies try to copyright everything on the internet. It's one thing to copyright logos, news articles, etc. but stats are just beyond the line of common sense. Without companies like this that stand up to the big money corporations, we could easily find see our choices of quality web sites, fantasy leagues, etc. shrink to very limited options.

    I know MLB will appeal this ruling but it won't matter. The ruling was very logical but the difference is now precedent has been set by the courts.

    -Reality
  11. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    It's not groundbreaking at all. People could see this coming from a mile away. They can appeal, yes, but the district court isn't precedent to the appellate court. Any law student that's taken an IP survey course can tell you the MLB didn't have a snowball's chance in hell. It was only a matter of time.
  12. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    People can see a lot of things coming from a mile away but until someone stands up, pays the legal bills and wins a judgement in court, it doesn't matter. A groundbreaking decision is not one that is "logical" or "anti-logical" .. it is one that affects a lot of people or organizations where no previous precedent has been set but now is as a result of the ruling.

    This ruling was huge because it can be applied to all kinds of things beyond fantasy leagues. For example, let's say you created a web site with player stats on it and MLB came after you and said, "Remove it or we will sue you." What do you do? You may "believe" you are right and that they have no case, but it will take a LOT of money to cover legal bills in order to prove that in court. This company just made it possible for you (or whoever) to never have to fight that fight.

    As a said, very groundbreaking .. common sense or not .. logical or not .. it's now precedent ..

    -Reality
  13. DBoys

    DBoys New Member

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    Very true...

    What I find funny is how MLB will fight something that would help the image of their game yet ignore the dopers who should be banned from baseball. How they can ban Rose for betting as a coach (which should have nothing to do with his playing days) yet ignore dopers breaking sacred records is beyond me.

    Didn't mean to get off course I am very bitter at MLB and sadly the game is dead to me.

    This ruling is very good news
  14. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    Number one, I think they get license from the NFLPA as far as names go.
    This is true, but I believe this ruling would strip the NFLPA of the power to control players names. The companies wouldn't have to go throught the NFLPA to get the names.

    Further, they may not have the name issue, but they durn sure have to get licensing from the NFL to gain rights to team names/icons/etc.
    This is still true, sure, but personally I'd be fine playing as the Dallas Stars or the Houston Longhorns or the Tampa Bay Pirates if it meant I could play a superior game that still had real players.
  15. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    It doesn't affect much outside of MLB fantasy actually. The MLB was advised not to require licenses for stats. As far as I'm aware, no other professional league requires licenses for stats. It's simply too obvious that it's not a protected property. The MLB was wrong, everyone knew it, and when they pushed it to the edge they lost.
  16. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    Actually, as a web developer, I can tell you this ruling affects a great number of people that I know. This ruling can now be used to justify arguments for other legal cases beyond Fantasy Leagues and even beyond MLB.

    By who? The companies beind sued by MLB? Of course they are going to say that

    This is completely irrelevant. If MLB had succeeded in charging for their stats, it would not be too long before the other sports leagues did the same. Just because they are not doing it today does not mean they will never do it.

    Again, just because something is obvious does not mean that companies won't sue over it. For example, you have over 2,500 posts on this site. I could file a lawsuit right now against you for something stupid like "Spamming CowboysZone in an attempt to disrupt the operation of the site." Would it be a stupid lawsuit? Of course, but I could still file it and you would have to defend it or the judge would make a ruling based on the evidence my lawyers would provide against you. While you can assume a judge would know better, just remember that something like this could easily be proven in court if the judge only hears one side of the argument.

    All it takes is an organization with a lot of money behind it and a warped view of intellectual property rights and you would find yourself with two options .. spending a lot of money defending it just to prove you are right or giving in and saying it is not worth it. While it is easy to say, "Well, I would stand up and fight the lawsuit no matter what, even if I had to spend every dollar I own and borrow money," organizations quickly assess the financial capabilities of the person being sued and can use that as a tactic. They can file motion after motion causing the case to go on indefinitely while bleeding you dry.

    Right, but now that they have been "pushed to the edge and lost" the next site, company, person, etc. will not have to fight that fight. That is why it is a major groundbreaking ruling. Now, even the small fan site who does not have a lot of resources does not have to worry about the NFL, MLB, Nascar, etc. coming after it over stats and other related content from their sports leagues.

    -Reality
  17. NorthTexan95

    NorthTexan95 Active Member

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    If I read that article correcly, many online fantasy sites had been paying MLB 9% of their income for the rights? With this ruling they won't have to. Therefore, MLB has removed a source of income for themselves because they got greedy.

    :lmao2:
  18. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Reality, simply put the decision changes nothing in the law. If I go and kill 20 people and I'm finally convicted for it, is that a groundbreaking decision? It may be newsworthy, but its certainly not a groundbreaking decision. It's quite obvious that murder is illegal--in just the same respect, it's quite obvious that facts are not protected property. The MLB was advised by lots of people. I can't imagine its counsel didn't advise it of the likelihood of this decision.
  19. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    Summary judgment is a powerful tool in federal courts. You're obviously going to incur discovery costs defending a law suit up to the dispositve motion, but with an outcome so obvious, the MLB or any other deep pocket isn't going to waste the money on discovery.
  20. Reality

    Reality Administrator Staff Member

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    Comparing criminal acts and intellectual property litigation is completely ridiculous. A groundbreaking decision is one that affects a great number of people (which this does) and that removes the need for other people or organizations to defend against it in the future. I realize you are only thinking, "Hey, it's fantasy leagues, big deal" but I can tell you this has far reaching effects beyond fantasy leagues and MLB. There are a lot of IP lawsuits in many different areas (not MLB/Fantasy Leagues) that are active right now that will use the MLB ruling as the basis of their argument.

    In fact, there are a couple of sites that I can now create that I wanted to create for a long time but never did because I felt that if they got popular (they may not, but IF they did) I would be hit with a C&D order from the major sports organizations.

    There are so many "obviously stupid" IP lawsuits out there right now that a lot of developers and organizations avoid entering markets just to remove the risk of potential litigation. I have been on both ends of IP litigation and can tell you, the process is long, tedious and very expensive.

    The bottom line is that this was a major groundbreaking ruling for anti-intellectual property activists across the nation. You can keep saying it wasn't, but I can assure you, in my line of work, it was a very important ruling.

    -Reality

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