Sunday, July 08, 2007

Retrosheet and copyright

Someone (Cho, presumably? due to the emphasis on pitch count and the Cubbies) commented to my last post with a few interesting details about Warren Spahn's last start.

I did note that claims to have copyrighted this information.

Ehhhhhh, not so much. This is where my real life kicks in.

It so happens that I know something about copyright. Retrosheet can't copyright a box score, any more than Major League baseball can copyright a statistic. You can't copyright a fact. The baseball case was just argued in June, so it hasn't been decided yet. It's not surprising the MLB is retreating from its initial claim that it had copyright on statistics and has moved to claiming copyright on logos. And if MLB doesn't own the right to statistics, doesn't either....

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