The Use of Players' Identities in Fantasy Sports Leagues: Developing Workable Standards for Right of Publicity Claims
29 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2007
This paper examines whether the use of professional athletes' names and playing records by fantasy sports league operators violates the players' right of publicity. There exists much confusion in this area of law in terms of what constitutes commercial use, what constitutes an identity, and when the First Amendment protects the use. This paper discusses the evolution of the common law right of publicity and embarks upon an in-depth analysis of its application to fantasy sports leagues. Intertwined throughout the discussion is an analysis and critique of the district court's ruling in C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P. Using this case as a backdrop, this paper attempts to define workable standards in a confusing area of law and concludes that players have a right of publicity in the use of their names and performance statistics by fantasy sports leagues.
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