Yahoo blitzes NFL with fantasy football stats lawsuit

3 06 2009

Yahoo has filed a lawsuit against the National Football League demanding access to player stats without having to pay licensing fees. Yahoo argues that player names, bios, and game statistics are not copyrightable information owned by the NFL, and that third parties should be able to make use of it for fantasy football leagues. Given a 2007 ruling on the same topic for Major League Baseball, there’s a good chance that Yahoo will end up taking home the win.

Under the current system, third parties (such as Yahoo) don’t have access to NFL player information for freeā€”the NFL licenses it out for millions of dollars so that only certain fantasy football leagues are “legit” while others are not. The NFL argues that this information belongs to the NFL alone and that using the data without permission is a violation of the organization’s IP rights.

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