Baseball Toaster The Griddle
A place where a man can slow down to a walk and live his life full measure, but he has to keep his watch on Pacific Time.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Griddle

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  10  07 
06  05  04  03 
Suggestions, comments, ring the catcher's interference alarm?

Email me at

The stuff I keep track of
Random Game Callbacks

Select a date:

Personal favorites that I wrote
Whose numbers are these anyway?
2006-05-15 22:10
by Bob Timmermann

Alan Schwarz of the New York Times examines the continuing dispute MLB Advanced Media and CDM Sports about who controls statistics in the use of baseball fantasy leagues.

"We're disseminating information to the public about baseball players no different than what a newspaper does," said Rudy Telscher, a lawyer representing CBC. "The American populace, at least a significant portion of it, has a fascination with baseball, they have a fascination with following the statistics, and I think the popularity of fantasy sports is borne right out of that passion for tracking the game and the statistics."


"What a company like CBC is selling is not nearly a repackaging of statistics," said Lee Goldsmith, a lawyer for Major League Baseball Advanced Media. "They're selling and they're marketing the ability to buy, sell, draft and cut Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols. And part and parcel of the reason that people are willing to pay for that ability is the persona of Jeter, of Rodriguez, of Pujols."

2006-05-15 22:51:05
1.   das411
So theoretically someone could buy the rights to Bonds's 715+?
2006-05-15 22:56:16
2.   Xeifrank
A big thumbs down for charging for stats.
vr, Xei
2006-05-16 03:52:35
3.   DXMachina
If MLB really wants to do something about the subtance abuse problems in the league, perhaps they should start with their home office. It's amazing how fast these guys can shoot themselves in the foot, reload, and do it again.

One thing about Bonds is that he opted out of the MLBPA agreement for the use of his name and likeness in video games and sims, apparently assuming he could make more dough if the game companies dealt with him directly. Instead, MVP Baseball 2005 (for example) replaced him with a player named "John Dowd," who just happened to have identical stats. (Players who were once scabs, like Kevin Millar, get similar treatment since they aren't in the MLBPA.)

2006-05-16 05:32:58
4.   joejoejoe
MLB was for it before they were against it. From the NYT:

"One interesting wrinkle is that Major League Baseball appeared to take the argument's other side in 1996. When several major leaguers from the 1940's and 50's sued Major League Baseball over use of their names and statistics in materials like promotional videos and game programs, baseball argued that such use was protected by the First Amendment."

Fantasy leagues are similar to the news in that they aggregate current information. I often learn that players are on the Disabled List or called up from the minors from my Fantasy League team and not from conventional news sources. I think it's FLs are protected speech as long as they avoid images and logos.

2006-05-16 12:00:31
5.   Tangotiger
I'm surprised that Schwarz didn't paint the argument better. He talked about "right of publicity" which is really what it's about. All the other stuff about packaging stats is not part of the case.

If I could summarize it, it would be the quote of Lee Goldsmith above. Everything else is really a smokescreen.

So, when it comes down to it: can I produce a game that uses the "persona" of Jeter et al, without getting a licence to do so?

All other things are not in question. Creating a database or website of stats, or tracking someone's fantasy team, etc. The stats are public domain, and not in dispute.

Could I create a game and call it "Derek Jeter 2007", or "Yankees 2007"? No. Could I create a game and call it "Jerek Deter 2007"? Could I create a game and call it "Jerek 2007", but use Jeter's name and stats in unison?

Could I open a store and sell "Only Derek Jeter Jerseys"? Could I open a store and sell "Only Jerek Jerseys", and make it that it's only Jeter/2 jerseys?

It's all about how much control does someone have over their persona.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.