Companies operating fantasy sports leagues have the right to use players' names and statistics under the First Amendment, an appeals court has ruled in a suit against Major League Baseball, Bloomberg reports. A fantasy league company sued MLB after it claimed control over all use of player names linked to stats, under a marketing relationship with the baseball players union.
The appeals court upheld an earlier district court ruling in favor of the fantasy firms. "It would be strange law that a person would not have a First Amendment right to use information that is available to everyone,'' the appeals court wrote in its majority opinion. Fantasy sports, which started with baseball in the early 80s, has since spread to other major sports and is now a $1.5 billion industry.