I'm planning to create a paid subscription service with some data gathered from nba.com.

There are public APIs from nba.com where I'm gathering the data but there is one specific from https://www.nba.com/stats/teams/transition which I'm not really sure if I can use it for commercial purposes.

I know there was a lawsuit nba v motorola where nba tried to have copyright rights over match scores but it was lost because anyone can get such data by just watching the game. For this data points I'm not really sure that's the case but does anyone know if they also fall under the same category as normal match stats?

Just to clarify, this data is available for free when either calling their API or gathering from the page source.

  • 1
    I think this question could be improved by explaining the data a little more. The critical question will be whether it counts as factual data (which cannot be copyrighted) or creative expression. For example if PTS means the number of points a player scored in a game that can be reproduced freely.
    – User65535
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 9:54
  • That's the problem I don't know. PTS here means points scored in a certain playstyle which is not really a fact but I'm not sure exactly how do they measure
    – Jerry
    Commented May 13, 2023 at 10:28

1 Answer 1


In reviewing the NBA.COM site Terms of Use at:

NBA.COM Terms of Use

It appears that your proposed usage violates the site's and the API's terms of use. Specifically this:

The Operator maintains the Services for your personal entertainment, information, education, and communication. Where the function is available, you may download material displayed on the Services to any single computer only for your personal, noncommercial use, provided you also maintain all intellectual property, including copyright and other proprietary notices contained on or associated with the materials. You may not, however, distribute, reproduce, republish, upload, display, modify, transmit, reuse, repost, link to, or use any materials of the Services for public or commercial purposes on any other Website, social media platform, or otherwise without the written permission of the Operator. Modification of any materials displayed on the Services is a violation of the Operator’s intellectual property, including copyright and other proprietary rights.

This appears to me to preclude you from using their site or APIs as a data source for your service. You may, however, wish to try to obtain permission from the "operator".

Keep in mind that while the factual information may not be copyrightable, the use of their service is controlled by the terms of use license.

  • Thank you for your answer. I doubt that NBA will allow me to use it. If I use the stats which are presented on 1000 other websites, can anyone demands from me to know how I obtain the information?
    – Jerry
    Commented May 14, 2023 at 13:25
  • @Jerry if you get sued, the other party can demand that you produce information relevant to the suit (that’s called "discovery" in the US). But before you get sued, the NBA will collect technical logs on their side and/or block you from the API and/or site. If you get the information from one of the "1000 other websites" with less restrictive ToS, you might be in the clear (ask a lawyer that reviewed your situation and the relevant ToS, not internet strangers).
    – KFK
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 9:54

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