Retransmitting Accounts

For a couple of years now, I’ve been puzzled by the standard copyright notice Major League Baseball offers during its games. “Any rebroadcast, reproduction or other use of the pictures and accounts of this game without the express written consent of Major League Baseball is prohibited,” they say, and other leagues do something similar. Can they really require express written consent before anyone reproduces an “account” of a baseball game? Surely not — you can’t copyright the facts. But, I guess they figure there’s no harm in making an absurdly broad assertion of their rights.

At any rate, Matt Stoller notes that various giant software companies have banded together to try to put a stop to this sort of thing, and good for them.