According to the Sports Business Journal, Major League Baseball and its Players’ Association are submitting a Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling made by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that allows fantasy baseball companies to continue to use players’ names and statistics without paying a licensing fee.
Major League Baseball has argued that players should be paid when their names are used for fantasy baseball leagues. Conveniently, they believe the players should be paid in the same way they are paid when their names are used to endorse products.
The problem Major League Baseball has had in advancing this argument is that their position flies in the face of existing copyright law. As the 8th Circuit pointed out, it would be strange law, to say the least, that a person would not have a First Amendment right to use information that is available to everyone in the public domain. There is no violation of the right of publicity.