MLB defending copyrights for the MLS

The New York Times has a story about Major League Baseball’s lawsuit aledging that use of MLB’s statistics and player names in fantasy leagues is infringing on major league baseball’s mojo (look and feel?):

“What a company like CBC is selling is not nearly a repackaging of statistics,” said Lee Goldsmith, a lawyer for Major League Baseball Advanced Media. “They’re selling and they’re marketing the ability to buy, sell, draft and cut Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols. And part and parcel of the reason that people are willing to pay for that ability is the persona of Jeter, of Rodriguez, of Pujols.”

The Washington DC MLS (MRIS) recently issued a couple of reports urging agents to consider statistics like list price to be copyrightable (Russ doesn’t agree with this analysis, follow the link to see why), but in the world of baseball, the decision has already been handed down:

Major League Baseball Advanced Media is not making a copyright claim to the statistics themselves; a 1997 decision in the United States Court of Appeals involving the National Basketball Association ruled sports statistics to be public-domain facts that do not belong to the leagues.

Perhaps the MRIS should look into hiring the MLB lawyers when they’re through with the case. By that time they’ll be experienced at explaining the difference between statistics and “right of publicity”:

Rather, the central issue concerns celebrities’ ability to control use of their names in commercial ventures, and how this “right of publicity,” which has developed under state common law and statute over the last half-century, may commingle with Constitutional press protections under the First Amendment.

I’ve created a monster!

Despite my adamant protest, many Rain City Guide contributors have gone off and created their own blogs. (what are they thinking???). However, as each and every one of these people have been very good to me, I thought I’d let you know where you can find more of their writings:

  • Russ Cofano — Realty Objectives [link removed]. While Russ is a real estate lawyer, I can tell you from our many conversations that his true love is innovation. His blog is a reflection of his interest in understanding real estate technology. (Check out his Speaking Opportunities [link removed] section to see something I might blog about soon…)
  • Ardell DellaLoggiaAsk Ardell. I don’t know about you, but I could NEVER get enough of Ardell’s writing… Where does she find the time???
  • Craig BlackmonReal Estate Law Blog. He’s been keeping up a great real estate blog mainly geared to FSBOs.
  • Robert Gray SmithLake Sammamish Living. All kinds of good stuff about life on the Eastside.
  • Galen WardShackBlog. He’s been out of town for a while, but when he’s around, he’s always sharing interesting stuff.
  • Marian CrkonIt’s a Feature. This might sound a little like it is coming out of left-field, but if you’re interested in Oracle applications, this blog is as good as they get!

As I often enjoy following the comments on RCG more than the posts, 🙂 I thought it also might be fun to highlight some of the great contributors (via comments) that regularly appear on Rain City Guide: