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Just about all sport media outlets today provide real time score updates for all their users. Every type of sport fans today has some sort of Sports News App on their phone. If people are unable to watch the game live, they can easily check their phones to see the score and stats of the game.

 

The accessibility of scores and stats have come such a long way to where it is today. There was a time where if you were not in attendance of a game or have access to the live broadcast of the game, it was difficult to find the score as the game was playing. Most people would have to catch the sports segment of the news or perhaps even wait until the next day to read the scores and stats in the newspaper.

 

One of the first real-time game information providers was called SportsTrax, a pager-like gadget distributed by Motorola and STATS. There were some issues they ran into particularly with the NBA, but ultimately they prevailed.

 

In 1997, Motorola and Sports Team Analysis and Tracking Systems, Inc. (STATS) were brought to court by the National Basketball Association (NBA) over a dispute of distribution of real-time basketball game information. The main controversy of this litigation was if "real-time" game statistics were in fact news or property?

 

The NBA's claim was that Motorola and STATS were violating New York's commercial misappropriation laws by taking the "essence of the MBA's most valuable property-- the excitement of an NBA game in progress." The NBA's argument was that because Motorola and STATS were releasing live score updates on NBA games that it was ruining the suspense and excitement of their games thus devaluing their product.

 

The NBA felt that Motorola and STATS were infringing the copyrights of the NBA's games. To the defense of Motorola and STATS, the NBA does own the copyright protections on the broadcasts of the NBA game but not the games themselves. Motorola and STATS were not transmitting any broadcasts of the games through their devices. They were simply just providing to their users purely factual information which any patron of the NBA could acquire without any direct involvement with the NBA. Thus they were not stealing any property from the NBA, they were simply just reporting factual news.  

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