As Fantasy Baseball Dugout so accurately predicted on Friday, the Supreme Court turned down Major League Baseball’s appeal of two earlier rulings in favor of CBC Distribution and Marketing of St. Louis, Missouri.
MLB’s appeal to the Supreme Court was over the use of player likenesses and statistics used by companies like CBC “for-profit” in fantasy baseball. The league was seeking to receive licensing fees, similar to what they already receive from fantasy baseball services like Yahoo!, CBS Sportsline, and ESPN, from smaller service providers like CBC.
The Supreme Court turned down the case without comment, and upheld earlier rulings that give First Amendment “free-speech” rights to fantasy baseball service providers that use statistical information and player likenesses in their games without paying licensing fees.
Major League Baseball fears it stands to lose “billions of dollars,” but the ruling from Supreme Court upholds the ruling that the names of famous athletes are part of the public domain.
Game on, fantasy baseballers!