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Daniels v. FanDuel, Inc.

909 F.3d 876 (2018)

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Daniels v. FanDuel, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

909 F.3d 876 (2018)

Facts

FanDuel and DraftKings (defendants) used the names, pictures, and statistics of sports players without the players’ consent to operate online fantasy-sports games. Contestants were generally required to pay to enter the fantasy-sports games and form or draft a “fantasy” team, and cash prizes were distributed to winning contestants. Three former college-football players (the athletes) (plaintiffs) sued FanDuel and DraftKings in federal court alleging violations of their right of publicity based on Indiana law. The Seventh Circuit certified a question to the Indiana Supreme Court as to whether, under state law, online fantasy-sports-game operators needed the consent of athletes to use those athletes’ names, pictures, and statistics. The Indiana Supreme Court answered that Indiana’s right-of-publicity statute contained an exception for material with newsworthy value, including the data used in online fantasy contests. The Seventh Circuit was required to decide whether the athletes could maintain their suit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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