Monday, January 16, 2006

Baseball stats

I remember reading about this issue several years ago (2?)... I had watched a DVD where a woman (a bluegrass singer who loved baseball) had on this neat little pager like device that would instantly update the score (and I think when someone was on base). I thought this would make a good present for my Bro-in-law who is a big baseball fan. When I went on the internet to try to find one for sale, I soon discovered that the devices were "outlawed". Apparently the MLB league sued the company that produced these pager devices under a copyright violation. They claimed that the scores (as they were being played) were considered copyrightable material. In general, numbers or statistics are NOT copyrightable. But because of the deep pockets and better lawyers, the MLB won the case, and shut down these pager companies. Today, I found this small article on the web that talks about the MLB possibly shooting itself in the foot with their claims. Read the article here on Techdirt. I don't know how I feel about this, but I really think the MLB has overstepped it's bounds. On the one hand I understand their argument, that it's a form of broadcasting copyrighted material, but on the other hand, I don't think they would loose any money from this venture if a third-party broadcast live score updates. Just another example of Corporatocracy.

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