Major League Baseball owns everything

Pax Arcana

Last week I pointed out the dorky awesomeness of the iPhone Baseball application, which loaded every single statistic in the history of professional baseball into my phone faster than the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run (want to know how Cincinnati Killers pitcher Wild Bill Widner got his nickname? Probably because he walked four batters and hit two more in his only professional appearance in 1891).

This morning word came that the sun had indeed risen again, the tides came in and went out on schedule, and and Major League Baseball (MLB) is acting like it owns everything even remotely related to baseball. Now they’re threatening to sue the guy who made the Baseball application for trademark infringement.

From PC World:

On Monday Michigan’s Mark Knopper, owner and sole employee of Bulbous Ventures, received an email from MLB Advanced Media demanding that he remove baseball team logos from his program along with a nearly imperceptible MLB logo used on the application program shortcut. MLB Advanced Media also expressed concern people might wrongfully assume his program was an official MLB iPhone App. MLB also made available its own iPhone app on last week, At Bat ($5).

“All of a sudden this labor of love of mine became more labor than love,” Knopper says. The avid Detroit Tiger fan says he will comply, but admits disappointment. Knopper, a self-employed Mac programmer, created the Baseball iPhone App for pure amusement and thought it would “cool to just give the program away for free to other baseball fans” like him, he says.

Listen buddy — baseball isn’t for “fans.” Baseball is for sponsorships, tie-ins with film and television studios, and the protection of the brand vis a vis statistics and logos. Letting so-called “fans” feel a sense of ownership over their favorite teams or statistical metrics just introduces unwanted irritants into the sweet, sweet honeypot of America’s past time (trademark pending).

By the way the Mets have won 11 of their last 13 and are tied for first.


Send all cease and desist letters to:
Pax Arcana
1313 Your Mama’s House
Metsville, USA

iPhone App Maker Gets Hit With Major League Cease and Desist [PC World]


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