Supreme Court Refuses Major League Baseball's Request To Examine Rights of Publicity

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Supreme Court Refuses Major League Baseball's Request To Examine Rights of Publicity

Mon Jun 02, 2008 @ 02:51PM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Mlb_logo The Supreme Court has turned down a request to hear a dispute over whether a fantasy baseball operator violated the intellectual property rights of Major League Baseball. The league claimed domain over names and statistics.

In turning down the appeal, the ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis stands, which established that copyright law offers no protection over the names, nicknames, likenesses, signatures, pictures, playing records, and biographical data of players from major sporting leagues.

The ruling holds some impact too for celebrities in the entertainment industry, who have zealously guarded likeness rights. Many legal experts believe this to be an important victory for free speech over "rights of publicity."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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