Yahoo Sacks The NFL With A Lawsuit

    June 4, 2009

Yahoo is suing the NFL Players Association, arguing that it should not have to pay additional royalties to use player’s statistics and images in its fantasy football games because the information is publicly available.

Yahoo filed the suit June 1 in federal court in Minneapolis. The company alleges the NFL Players Association threatened to sue it if it did not pay royalties for using the publicly available information.

"Yahoo, like other fantasy-football game providers, tracks, compiles and posts NFL player statistics," Yahoo said in the suit.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports

The NFL Players Association gave the National Football League Players Inc. the "exclusive worldwide rights" to license the player’s biographical information, according to the suit.

Yahoo said in the suit that in previous football seasons it licensed the information from the NFL Players Inc. That agreement expired in March, and Yahoo is citing a similar case in which a judge ruled in favor of CBS Interactive allowing it to use player’s statistics without paying royalties.

Between 13 million to 15 million people take part in fantasy football games that gross more than $1 billion annually.