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On October 24, in Daniels v. FanDuel, Inc., the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that uses of college athletes’ names, likenesses, and statistical data in online fantasy sports contests are of “newsworthy value” under Indiana’s right of publicity statute. The court’s unanimous decision halts plaintiffs’ bid to block fantasy sports platforms FanDuel and DraftKings from using this information without players’ permission. The court’s expansive reading of the newsworthiness exception to Indiana’s right of publicity statute has an immediate impact on right-of-publicity jurisprudence nationally, given Indiana’s status as a go-to venue for right-of-publicity claimants. The court’s decision also hands a major victory to the online fantasy sports industry. This outcome—following on the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow states to legalize sports betting in Murphy v. NCAA—further sets the stage for explosive growth in the emerging online sports betting industry.
Sports Litigation Alert republished the alert.