In a victory for daily fantasy sports operators DraftKings and FanDuel, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last week that the names, likenesses, and statistical information of college athletes are newsworthy and may be used without players’ permission.
A group of NCAA athletes sued DraftKings and FanDuel on the basis that players should be paid for the use of their information. The court ruled for the defendants because of the newsworthiness exception to Indiana’s right-of-publicity law. According to the justices, the use of player information by fantasy sports operators “bears resemblance to the same information in newspapers and websites across the nation.”
Although the court sought to keep its ruling narrow, the decision may have ramifications in other states that have similar right-of-publicity laws. It is also unknown as to what impact, if any, the decision may have on the future of NCAA sports betting or a possible resurrection of NCAA video games.
Thomas “Buddy” Bardenwerper is an Entertainment Highlight Contributor for the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and a current first year student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2021)