On this day in 2007, a federal court held that the First Amendment protects the right of fantasy sports leagues to use statistics and players’ names without permission. In C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit considered whether CBC, a fantasy sports company, had the right to use, without license, Major League Baseball players’ names and information in the company’s fantasy sports leagues. The court found that CBC’s use of the players’ names violated their rights of publicity. However, the court held that CBC’s First Amendment rights in offering fantasy baseball products trumps the players’ rights of publicity. The court said that because the players’ names and information were “all readily available in the public domain,” those names should be available for use in commercial fantasy sports without compensation to the players.
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