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CBC Distribution and Marketing, Inc. (CBC), operator of CDMsports.com (CDM), offering fantasy-sports products and services, brought this action against Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P. (MLBAM), to establish its right to use without license the names and, inherently crucial for fantasy-sports operators, statistical records of Major League Baseball (MLB) players. MLBAM, the interactive media and Internet company of MLB, counterclaimed that CBC’s fantasy-baseball products violated MLB players’ rights of publicity, which were licensed through the MLB Players’ Association (MLBPA) to MLBAM. The MLBPA intervened in the suit, joining in MLBAM’s claims and further asserting a breach-of-contract claim against CBC. The district court granted summary judgment to CBC—see C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., 443 F. Supp. 2d 1077 (E.D. Mo. 2006)—and MLBAM and the MLBPA appealed.
The author is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1126.