IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT
C.B.C. DISTRIBUTION AND MARKETING, INC.,
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ADVANCED MEDIA,
THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION,
Appeal from the United States District Court
Eastern District of Missouri
Cause No. 4:05CV00252MLM
Judge Mary Ann L. Medler
BRIEF OF APPELLANT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION
SUMMARY OF CASE AND REQUEST FOR ORAL ARGUMENT
For roughly ten years, the Major League Baseball Players Association (“MLBPA”) licensed CBC Distribution and Marketing, Inc. (“CBC”) to use defined “Player Rights” in CBC’s products, fantasy baseball games. In the license agreements, CBC agreed not to use or challenge the rights after the agreements expired. When the agreements expired and CBC could not get a new one, CBC for the first time asserted, and the trial court held, that CBC’s use of Player Rights does not violate players’ publicity rights under Missouri law, and that CBC’s statelaw contract obligations cannot be enforced.
CBC’s conduct violates Missouri’s publicity rights law, and enforcement of those rights does not affect expressive activity or violate the First Amendment. At the very least, disputed issues of material fact precluded summary judgment for CBC. Alternatively, no federal statute addresses publicity rights and thus federal
law does not preempt enforcement of CBC’s state-law contract obligations. MLBPA requests 20 minutes of oral argument. These issues are of substantial importance for players’ rights specifically and for all individuals asserting publicity rights. Further, if the incorrect decision that state-law contract rights are preempted by federal law is permitted to stand, it will undermine the rules governing federal preemption in intellectual-property cases.
Appellant MLBPA Brief
Appellant MLBPA Brief (Addendum)