Fantasy leagues beat real leagues via Supreme Court ruling

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal report that Major League Baseball’s effort to maintain exclusive control of its players’ statistics failed Monday, when the Supreme Court
turned down its appeal of a ruling that gave fantasy baseball leagues
the right to use the data without purchasing a license. Fantasy
baseball is a big business, with revenue estimated at $1.5 billion a
year.

The justices made no comment in turning down the case, which was an
appeal of a ruling in October by the federal appeals court in St.
Louis. The appeals court held that the First Amendment’s guarantee of
free speech outweighed the “right of publicity” that team owners and
the players union had invoked in arguing that the players’ names and
statistics could not be used commercially without permission.