This commentary from Congress reveals that database protection and the pending Antipiracy Act should be carefully analyzed because there are numerous economic and societal issues at stake. The commentary depicts both the pros and cons of passing the Antipiracy Act in regards to collections of information, otherwise known as databases.
One side of the argument points out that a large amount of time, money and effort is needed when an author constructs a database. Then it mentions, with today’s technologies, whole databases can be copied with one click of the mouse. Additionally, a negative outcome of this will be the creation of fewer databases by owners because of the risks of their works being stolen or copied.
On the other hand, the commentary also notes the opposing side. Here, it states that over-protection is extremely dangerous because it may prevent the free-flow of information. This will put limitations on the availability of works and ideas. This, in turn, hinders the progress of culture, technology, and, most importantly, knowledge.
The goal stated in the commentary from Congress is to restore the protection policy of databases without completely restricting the flow of information. This would require some application of the “sweat of the brow” theory, as well. Basically, their goal is to find the healthy medium between these two arguments. Additionally, at the conclusion of the note, it states that the Copyright Office believes that the Antipiracy Act is a positive piece of legislation, and that it will aid in promoting more information to the public.
This is pertinent to the project because it accounts for both sides of the issue concerning copyright protection, as well as describing the Antipiracy Act, which would definitely have a huge impact on the fantasy baseball case if passed. It clearly points out the implications of, both over-protection, and no protection. This helps to establish the importance of database listings.
This journal article is focused on the growing popularity of fantasy sports and the resulting issues with intellectual property. Included is a detailed report of the legal doctrines and concerns regarding the ownership of statistics. It states that fantasy leagues are present in almost every sport, from regulars like baseball and football, to the oddities of wrestling and bass fishing. This shows how well-rounded the world of fantasy sports is, and how it is a bigger issue than just baseball. Another one of the main issues discussed is about how online fantasy leagues have become an obsession in our society, and also that the professional leagues have realized how profitable online leagues are. From this, it states that these pro organizations seek to gain control over the fantasy operations because they want to make the money themselves.
Furthermore, a main debate mentioned in the article is whether or not players’ names and stats are the intellectual property of professional leagues. Along with this comes the issue of licensing. One thing that stuck out is the mentioned implications of the licensing. If this continues, then the number of fantasy leagues will most likely greatly decrease, and subsequently, fees will increase, causing professional sports organizations to gain more money and power unrightfully.
A crucial point of the journal article is the in depth explanation of the mechanics and history of fantasy leagues. This is essential to understanding the above mentioned dilemmas with the law. Accordingly, the article discusses another very important issue: the right of publicity. With this comes a discussion of the First Amendment’s role in determining intellectual property in relation to statistics. Lastly, this also includes recommendations for the courts for how they should deal with fantasy sports litigation.
This journal article goes into detail over the issue of copyright protection for databases. With its review of the Feist Publications, Inc v. Rural Telephone Service Company, the author illustrates the requirements for a work to be protected. The article mentions that if pre-existing factual material does not originate from someone, then it is not able to be protected. It points out that in order for a work to be protected by copyright law, there must be some degree of originality. Therefore, databases, for the most part, are not protected under this. The only way a database can be protected is if the coordination or arrangement of the data is unique.
Furthermore, the author states that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act originally had a provision to protect databases, but subsequently, it was dropped at the last minute. Then he explains that this is because of the Feist decision in 1991, which limits database protection.
The article is very helpful in that it gives the details of the Feist case. Rural Telephone Service Company had originally copyrighted their white pages in their telephone books. Because the names were listed in alphabetical order, the court found that there was no degree of creativity. Therefore, despite their effort and expenses put into the work, the company failed to meet the requirements of copyright protection. After the case, the white pages were no longer protected.
Although this article does not have to do with the fantasy baseball conflict directly, the case clearly relates because both have to do with non-protected works. Databases and statistics are very similar, and both are in the public domain. The results of the case more than a decade ago still apply today, and are very transferable to the issue of ownership of baseball players’ stats.
Another key point from the article that helps oppose the MLB’s licensing and fees is the fact that the statistics do not owe its origin to Major League Baseball. They are like facts or events in history. The MLB is not the “author” of these statistics, rather they are part of the public domain free for anyone to include in databases like fantasy leagues.
This Supreme Court review talks about Feist Publications, Inc v. Rural Telephone Service, Inc and the issue of intellectual property. Mainly, while depicting the case, it focuses on Congress’ ability to permit copyright protection. It goes into detail about how the Feist case set the standard for the Intellectual Property Clause. Because the white pages of a telephone book were found to be uncopyrightable, this then forced revision of originality on all cases to follow. If authors want to protect their works, they have to, because of the Feist decision, pass all the requirements of creativity and originality.
Also debated in the review was the definition of “original” works. This is thoroughly discussed in the composition. It proves, through description of the case, that a compilation of facts cannot be copyrighted. Additionally, this is very important because it states the opinions of the justices, including Justice O’Conner.
To add to that, the review also points out that the decision of the case not only complicates the goals set out by the Intellectual Property Clause, but it also has a huge effect on how the courts should govern and control other forms of compilations, such as maps, computer programs, and the broadcasting of sporting events.
Also discussed is the “sweat of the brow” theory. This theory states that the amount of effort and money put into a work should be the reasons that govern protection under law. This is focused more on labor than originality. Another main point in the case that is brought out in this review is the use of the fair use doctrine. This proves that the only material taken from the white pages was raw facts.
Evidently, the description of the Fesit v. Rural case and the issues brought pit in the courtroom transfer over to the issue of statistics ownership, as well. This is because the main reasons brought out in the case (intellectual property, fair use, originality, and the compilation of data) all can relate to the case between the MLB and fantasy baseball.
This journal article is centered around the issue of protection for databases in our technologically advanced society. Because it is so much easier to store and transfer information, data base owners are faced with the problem of a lack of protection. The article traces the process that the database status has gone through over the years. It talks about the original statutes from the Copyright Act of 1976 and what the law was like then. Then, it talks about the Feist case and then implications that followed.
Additionally, it gives insight to what databases are and what exactly makes one qualify for protection. The article gives clear definitions of “original works of authorship,” and all the different reasons why or why not a database would be included in this. It says that databases are computerized “file cabinets” that contain pages of information. Then it states that they are protected if the work was created by arranging or coordinating the data in a unique, original way. Subsequently, this gives a clear picture as to what allows these compilations of data to be protected by copyright law.
Furthermore, the journal article not only explains the Feist case, but also reports the outcome and the effects that ensue. It explicates how the court’s ruling has changed the way the U.S. deals with this kind of work and other types of work that are in the public domain. In addition, another effect mentioned is the Anti-Piracy Act. The article goes into great detail as to what The Act would permit. If passed, The Act would overturn the Feist decision and make big changes to the law today. Also mentioned are the possible penalties of not abiding to pending legislation, such as fines and imprisonment. Furthermore, the article states that the passage of The Act will be difficult because of how complex it is. The issue is so intricate that all previous efforts to change the law have failed.
This composition is essential to the project because even though it doesn’t relate directly to the fantasy baseball case, it deals with the same type of work and the debate over copyright protection. Also, it shows a different side of the issue. It goes into detail about the pending legislation and how it would change the law. The most important aspect is the description of the databases and the qualifications of works of originality.