Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Surina Mann


This note examines the friction between the First Amendment and the right of publicity by examining the case of C.B.C. Distribution and Marketing, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., a case regarding fantasy league baseball. This note begins by discussing the legacy of the right of publicity, the policy goals that the right of publicity was devised to further, and several different tests that courts have designed to balance the right of publicity with the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. This note then goes on to illustrate the background of fantasy league baseball and critique the C.B.C. opinion for it's vagueness and disregard for the very purpose of publicity claims. This note concludes that a test that would fully recognize and support the policy goals underlying publicity claims and the values behind protection of freedom of expression should have been used by the court, a test that would have resulted in a very different outcome.