Apparently, fantasy sports websites are not required to obtain consent from athletes to use their name, likeness or statistics.
In this case, the court had to consider whether FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc. (Defendants) violated collegiate student-athletes (Plaintiffs) privacy rights.
The defendants run fantasy sports websites, where customers receive virtual currency in return for an entry fee. They can also purchase the services of a collegiate student-athletes to complete a team roster. Cash prizes are awarded if a customer’s team beats another team’s performance.
The plaintiffs alleged that sophisticated marketing campaigns were used to attract users to their website and exploit the use of athlete’s names and likenesses in their marketing. Counsel for the plaintiffs submitted that the defendants’ actions were in violation of section 32-36-1-1 of the Indiana Code.
A lower court dismissed the plaintiffs’ allegations, finding that their “athletic achievements” were newsworthy.
Reportedly, the defendant’s counsel submitted that Section 32-36-1-1 of the Code does not apply to use of a personality’s property interests in; material that has political or newsworthy value, connection with broadcast or reporting of an event or topic of general or public interest, literary works, or the truthful identification of a performer of a recorded performance.