MLB Denied Cert [5:25 pm]
So, it’s not like the Supreme Court ruled — they just didn’t want to, given the appellate decision. But, for the moment anyway, MLB can’t claim to “own” baseball statistics: MLB loses fantasy sports appeal (pdf)
Major League Baseball and the players association struck out on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected their appeal of a ruling that sided with a company that uses player statistics for fantasy baseball.
The high court declined to hear the appeal of a lower-court ruling that a St. Louis-based company called C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing Inc. has a free-speech right to use the names and performance statistics of famous athletes.
Pro leagues have long played a double game: appealing to public spirit when they seek, for instance, tax dollars for new stadiums, while fiercely protecting their own bottom lines. Once fantasy sports caught fire on the Internet, Major League Baseball clearly saw a business opportunity and took steps to concentrate the activity on a small number of high-profile licensee websites.
But not every expression of fan enthusiasm needs to fall under leagues’ corporate control. [...]
NYTimes’ coverage: No Ruling Means No Change for Fantasy Baseball Leagues (pdf); LATimes’ coverage: U.S. Supreme Court lets fantasy leagues play on (pdf)