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 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.
Baseball is a game of numbers, but whose numbers are they? This is the title of the article, and also, more importantly, the main question that provokes the discussion over the status of baseball players’ statistics. The article, published this past May in the New York Times, is important because it discusses why the MLB believes that they should have ownership over the statistics. The term ownership, in this case, refers to the licensing fees the League imposes on fantasy leagues. It mentions how Major League Baseball Advanced Media used to license out stats to dozen of fantasy operators, but now is only down to 7. They want to force these fees on companies such as Yahoo, ESPN, and CBS SportsLine, for not only control over statistics, but as another way to rake in money, as well.
One of the key points in this article is that the MLB believes because these online leagues feature many baseball stars and information on their performances, this could have an effect on the reputation of players. They claim that players’ identities are being exploited. Additionally, they point out that stats are part of players’ images. This, in turn, poses the question: Who owns the connection between name and number when it is used for commercial purposes?
Another aspect that stuck out was the point a lawyer representing one fantasy league made. He explicated that using baseball data for the public is no different than printing stats or results in a newspaper.
This article is of great importance to the project because of the explanation of the MLB’s position. It gives the other side of the argument, and even uses examples of famous players to get the point across more strongly. Because it illustrates the other point of view, it helps in coming up with more reasons to counteract their argument.
This article is about a diehard fantasy baseball player, named Ron Shandler, who actually knows so much about baseball and statistics that he was hired by the St. Louis Cardinals to research and evaluate players. His innovative ways of examining and evaluating players’ performances have allowed him to make the jump between the online leagues and the majors. The article talks about how Shandler is very educated in the world of baseball. It mentions how he wrote a book called “Baseball Forecaster,” runs his own website, and also has been participating in expert fantasy leagues for years. In 2004 he was asked to join the Cardinals advisory board, and worked to evaluate their players and performances.
After only a year of working for the Cardinals, Shandler quit because his reports on players were being criticized. After he stepped down from the job, he began to solely focus on his website and book. Though his involvement in the MLB is discussed, the article mainly focuses on how Shandler has a great capacity for numbers, especially regarding players’ statistics. Additionally, it is an example of the relationship between the two organizations.
The article is relevant to my project because it shows the correlation between Major League Baseball and the various fantasy baseball leagues. Clearly, there is a very close relation, because Ron Shandler was hired to work in the major leagues without having any previous baseball knowledge or experience besides winning some fantasy baseball leagues. This illustrates how the statistics are transcended from real baseball to baseball online. The article demonstrates how the statistics, such as the players batting averages, homeruns, and earned run averages are used in a very similar way on the internet to tally points for each of the league competitors. The article discusses how almost everyone who plays in the leagues is pretty well-rounded when it comes to statistical analysis.
The article mentioned how Shandler was made many innovations in the world of fantasy baseball, which, in turn, helped make innovations when looking at and analyzing real baseball statistics. His experience with the online leagues helped establish new ways of valuing players, so much that he was wanted by a major league franchise. Evidently, there are thick ties between the statistics, and this adds to the fact that there should be not property laws governing them. Because the stats are not protected by law, nor owned by the MLB, Shandler and many other baseball enthusiasts are able to make advances in the sport when it comes to analysis. Additionally, this further establishes that statistics are neither intellectual nor physical property, and that they are available for the public use.
This article describes the workings of fantasy baseball leagues, and gives the reader an idea of how the players’ statistics carry over to the internet. It is very helpful because it shows what exactly goes on in these leagues. It explains how the statistical measurements of a batter are computed to go up against the statistical measurements of a pitcher, and then, a calculation that weighs all of the two players’ factors determines whether the batter gets a hit or the pitcher strikes him out.
Additionally, the article mentions how millions of Americans participate in fantasy leagues each year. Also, it describes how each member chooses from a list of players and they battle against other teams in the league. Following that, some general information about fantasy leagues is given. Listed are other sports that have fantasy leagues, and how much baseball fantasy leagues are worth each year.
This general information gives great insight to what fantasy baseball leagues are like and how they are run. Clearly, this is very helpful to the project, because it provides a lot of general background information on these online leagues, which demonstrates how the statistics are used. To add to that, this helps to prove the point that the players’ statistics are part of the public domain and cannot be owned by the MLB or the Players Association.
Accordingly, the article also touches upon the case between CBC Distribution and Marketing and Major League Baseball. The case was settled in a St. Louis courtroom and the court ruled in favor of the fantasy leagues. It was decided that players’ names and numbers are part of the public domain mainly because of the First Amendment. This is very important to not only this project, but also to society in general because the court ruled that data is not subject to copyright. This will make big changes as our world becomes more and more digitalized and the workings of the internet need to be governed.