Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NFLPA Files Brief Supporting MLBAM, MLBPA In Fantasy Sports Case

The NFLPA last week filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the bid by MLBAM and the MLBPA to overturn their district and appeals court defeats in the CDM Fantasy Sports case. In the filing, the NFLPA repeats arguments from prior amicus filings warning that the current rulings, if allowed to stand, will significantly disrupt existing fantasy sports and overall group licensing operations. But the filing, similar to the original baseball petition for a writ of certiorari, also asks for Supreme Court involvement to resolve widely varying standards in various courts for rights of publicity. "The Eighth Circuit's decision deepened a pre-existing division among the federal and state courts over the correct legal test for balancing the economic interests that give rise to publicity rights against First Amendment interests," the amicus filing reads. "In light of this conflict, the ability of an athlete, artists, or any other celebrated figure to control purely commercial exploitation of his or her identity will likely depend on the jurisdiction in which a lawsuit is commenced. Only this Court can bring clarity to this important question of federal law, and it should grant certiorari to do so now." CDM, originally due to respond to the original petition from MLBAM and the union by March 27, has been granted an extension until April 28.

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