When the executives at William Hill US entered the nascent regulated American sports betting market they must have assumed that they would, eventually, wind up in a courtroom for one reason or another – that’s just the nature of the business. What they likely weren’t predicting was that they would be suing their American rival, FanDuel, for plagiarism. But, as they say, here we are.

Yesterday, William Hill US filed a lawsuit against FanDuel for copy infringement for what it claims is a wholesale theft of its content by the American company, according to a report from ESPN.com. At question are large chunks of publication from William Hill for beginning bettors called, How to Bet Guide, which the company published last June.

While issues of copyright infringement can sometimes be in the eye of the beholder, this one seems to be a little more cut and dried due to, what appears to be, sheer carelessness on the part of whomever it was at FanDuel who was tasked with creating their version of the sports betting guide. The most egregious example is the fact is outlined in the complaint which reads:

FanDuel’s unauthorized copying is perhaps most evident in the fact that FanDuel actually forgot to remove William Hill’s name when printing the Infringing Pamphlet

The line in question, which does appear in the FanDuel guide, reads, “Alternate & reverse run lines are propositional wagers offered by William Hill on each baseball game.” That one is going to be tough to defend.

William Hill CEO Joe Asher seems to be taking the whole affair in stride saying, “We are not litigious people but this is ridiculous. f the court finds in our favor, a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for creative writing programs at New Jersey universities.”

FanDuel has yet to make any official statement on the case.


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