NFL Wants To Remind You That Having People Over To Watch The Super Bowl On A Big Screen Is Copyright Infringement

from the laws-written-by-lobbyists dept

What is it with sports leagues and their desire to limit how their fans can enjoy the game? There’s Major League Baseball, who keeps trying to insist that they own the facts related to a game, and no one can use them without paying MLB first. Then, there’s the NFL, who freaked out about TiVo and also tried to ban any broadcasters from using “unauthorized” video feeds to show what happens in the stadium (i.e., no sideline cameras any more). They’ve been particularly fussy about the Super Bowl, however, forcing advertisers to call it “the Big Game” or whatever, claiming excessive control over the trademark (remember, trademarks are really designed to prevent consumer confusion, not to give holders full control over the mark).

The latest situation is perhaps even more bizarre — but tragically, seems to fall closer to a correct legal reading of a really poorly written law. The NFL apparently nastygrammed a church for planning to host a Super Bowl party. The original complaint was first that the church was charging people, but also that they used the term “Super Bowl” (as if people would somehow believe that the church was associated with the NFL?). After the church agreed to let people in for free and not use the term, the NFL continued to complain, saying that showing the Super Bowl on a screen larger than 55 inches represents copyright infringement. While we, at first, doubted the reality of this, Ben Austro sent in the fact that it is, indeed, spelled out in copyright law that once you get above 55″, you may be talking about a “public performance,” though, as Ben notes, the wording sounds like it was clearly written by a lobbyist. No matter what the law states, this seems ridiculously short-sighted by the NFL. It’s hard to see how they lose out in any meaningful way by not allowing groups to watch the Super Bowl together. Of course, now that this particular quirk of copyright law is getting some attention, how long will it be until the MPAA starts cracking down on those of you with really big screen TVs from showing movies in your home theaters. What was a joke just a few months ago, may become real.

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Comments on “NFL Wants To Remind You That Having People Over To Watch The Super Bowl On A Big Screen Is Copyright Infringement”

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MadJo (profile) says:

sad :(

Next thing you know, even talking about “The Big Game” could result in a lawsuit, because that’s copyright infringement.

Or just watching it with some friends/family is a copyright infringement, because you only have a license to watch it by one person.

I understand that companies and individuals want to get paid for their copyright, but this is getting ridiculous. Don’t try to assert control over something you simply can’t control.
A church that tries to create a community feeling by offering this service should not be illegal.

Spartacus says:

of course a church

Is it just me is do these kinds of things tend to be targeted at conservative Christians? I will not get into a debate about “Conservative Right ruining the world and causing children in Cambodia to have potatoes growing out of their heads while giving lots of money to the CEO of Enron” but it does seem like this is not uncommon when a conservative Christian group is involved.

From TFA “It just frustrates me that most of the places where crowds are going to gather to watch this game are going to be places that are filled with alcohol and other things that are inappropriate for children,” Newland said. “We tried to provide an alternative to that and were shut down.”

Am I the only one who is frustrated by the fact that the NFL is ok with Sports Bars showing the Big Game on the wall using a projector but forbidding a Church from doing the same thing?

The money they make is in advertising and letting people watch it at the church IS NOT going to decrease people who see the advertisements.

This strikes me as not a business decision but rather a decision based on prejudice against Christians. Kind of ironic that the group of people most often assumed to be prejudiced against the world are being prejudiced against.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: of course a church

Yes! It is just you.. Oooh, us poor christians are being persecuted again. Not that you christians don’t deliberately try to impose your own medieval dogma and beliefs upon millions of Americans. And you call it religious freedom. Go ahead, believe in an invisible man in the sky. Why don’t you just blame Satan instead of the NFL?

JimR says:

Re: Re: of course a church

I beg to differ. It is not just him, it is a lot of us who belieive in the invisible man in the sky as you so stupidly put it. Just so you do know. but don’t understand. Satan does indeed have a big hand in the ways the Christians are being persecuted. You can keep denying this but one day you will have to face the music. I HAD RATHER LIVE LIKE THERE IS A GOD AND FIND OUT WHEN I DIE THERE ISN’T THAN TO LIVE LIKE THERE IS NO GOD (like you) AND FIND OUT THERE REALLY IS A GOD.

ohhhreallyman says:

Re: Re: of course a church

dude its not that it was a church if it was a synagouge or mosque it would be the same thing its not just us christians this is a direct attack on the freedoms of american citizens this is not a jew muslim christian thing this is a NATIONAL CRISIS there should be retaliation against this mishandling of the law

YouKnowNothing says:

Re: of course a church

Man, this has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read here on Techdirt. This even surpasses dorpus-speak.

Who the fuck cares what religion these people are. I’m certain that when it comes to “protecting their content and trademarks”, the NFL thinks we’re all heathens and deserve to be burned at the steak until dead for the mere unauthorized utterance of the words “Super” and “Bowl” used together, and the nanosecond glimpse of “the Big Game” on anyone’s (larger than 55-inch) TV screen without paying for it first.

Conservative Christians are the *LAST* group in the world that should be complaining about prejudice, seeing as how *anyone*, *anywhere* who doesn’t believe exactly what you do is going to be damned to a firey death in Hell for all Eternity.

Shemnon says:

Re: by la bête on Feb 2nd, 2007 @ 3:16am

Having worked as a installer and as a tech support rep for cable and sattalite companies i can tell you that actually bars would not be paying any royalty to the NFL.

At most they pay a cable bill. And if its a sports game its going to be on a local network channel anyhow (which they could get for free off the air, although the picture may not be as good.)

The local networks do not get royalty fees from end users. they gain their profits from advertising dollars.

For specialty events such as PPV fights or boxing on HBO a bar simply pays a fee for the service. again no royalty directly paid. It is the network that shows the content that pays the licencing franchise for the privilege to air the shows.

Specialty stations recoup this cost by a subscription based service such as premium movie channels and PPV events.

Me says:

Re: BS

Sports bars aren’t paying a damn thing to the NFL. Do you think the NFL has a way of proving it from EVERY sports bar in the country? It’s televised live… FREE. They give a bigger screen exemption to these bars because they sell the product that puts money back into the NFL… BEER. The stupid thing is the NFL feels the bigger the screen at homes… the more people gathered. It’s a deal with the networks to help their arbitron ratings… more TV’s turned on to the game.

The Original Just Me says:

Makes me want

To set up a lawn chair outside and project the damn game on the side of my house. An unfortunate consequence of this is that anyone driving by will be able to see it, so sorry NFL. The only thing stopping me is that it is expected to be -2 (with wind chill) on Sunday.

Maybe I just won’t watch the game at all, then I won’t be counted by Nielson either.

Yo ho ho... says:


It is bad enough that it is two wholly unappealing / mediocre teams playing this Sunday…

… but for the NFL to go out of its way to single out a community gathering spot where most of those who would go there to watch the game were probably going to watch Simpsons at home instead….

This is really pathetic!

I only wish that this was a bigger story so that the NFL could be nationally embarassed for this action.

Sidney says:

Re: Progressive

THey don’t want your women- they want your daughters and first born as a sacrifice to the NFL GOD.

Down through the years I have watched very few Super Bowls.
I have never watched one with New England in it and never will. That my friend is what you call NFL fixing team.

In fact the last Super Bowl I watched was with Paul McCartney at halftime- and it was the only thing entertaining in the whole game anyway.

Solock up the kiddies they are coming…..

Dodger says:


Another reason to hate this already overblown sport.

It’s sad to see how many people try to ‘live’ football in America. The sport isn’t really entertaining to watch and it’s not fun to play (nowhere near as fun as rugby for example). And I’m sure that last statement will bring out at least one typical football fan that seems to hate everything from every other country when they are talking football, even though I’m sure the TV they watch it on was made in China…

But hey, it’s “tradition”, and that’s all this country seems to have to be proud of. Now it’s just come down to this corporation (That is what it is, there is no sport anymore) that would rather force people to… what? Buy smaller TVs? Does a projector count since it’s not really a TV, but just a means for displaying an image? What is a TV, the receiver or the display or both?

Screw it, think I’ll Tivo THE BIG GAME and put it on torrent immediately after it’s over. As for now, I’m gunna go stick my finger down my throat while I think about what this country is becoming.

junglejim0745 says:

The Big Game

Well, this is yet another example of The New Way Forward in our country, we soon will be only haves and have nots, all the inbetweeners will be gone.

Personally I have never watched a SuperBowl game and never will. I care nothing about sports of anykind on TV, nor will I go to a stadium and spend exorbinate amounts of money to watch big business in action. I am 61 and have no idea how long there has been a Superbowl, but I have missed them all and do not consider myself hurt in anyway for having done so.

Our country is getting just like the Roman Empire right before its collapse, as long as people can watch sports on tv on the weekend and swill beer or other beverage, no one cares what is happening around them. There really are ways to have a well rounded life without ignoring ones family and spending every waking offtime minute watching sports, hunting or fishing. Nothing is done in moderation any more, it is either wholehog or nothing. I know many will call me names for this post, but I enjoy life to the fullest and it does not include contributing to the decay and decline of this country by idolizing sports and sports so called (celebrities), many of whom are drug ridden addicts and should not be looked up to by anyone, especially our children.

This is just another tactic to control the population and generate more and more money for big business.

JohnTuscon says:

Re: The Big Game

I’ll sencond that entire comment, except I’m not that age (yet).

Sports are great if you actually play them, you know, for FUN and EXERCISE, but once people start dropping everything for WATCHING sports, such as showing up to work late and ignoring your kids while you try to watch the ever-important pass attempt, it’s at that point that the society that participates in such activities has hit a new low.

Lets not even start talking about the riots of citizens that happen after their own team has won the game…

thinlizzy151 (user link) says:

Re: The Big Game

RE: junglejimo745 – Could not agree with you more. It’s sad that sports have been taken over by big business, just like the arts. Both are something that really add to life – something the ancient Greeks understood fully. I guess it is up to people to take it back. Support amateur sports, the level a play might be as great, but it’s a lot more pure. People playing for the sheer love of the game. That is what it should be about. You might even think about playing yourself. Just a thought

Kidding Me! says:

A fan and still disgusted.

Unlike a lot here I’m a BIG fan of Football. But come on, this is just pure greed and stupidity by the NFL. I guess they will start alienating their fans like others sports and start to watch their viewer base drop! Would serve them right, looks like they’ve gotten to the point they feel they don’t need fans! I mean they DID create football, right? (Sarcasm there)

MEoip says:

2 questoins and 3 comments

q1) If as a the pastor of church I’m not but let’s pretend) I start showing football and other sports games on Sunday afternoon/evening then I would seemly fall into the portion of the law which exempts bars and other establishments that regularly show games. So if I hook my projector up each Sunday and show the game in my churches multi purpose room then I can show the super bowl (it is 2 words) on Super bowl Sunday, right?

q2) Can I use the word Superbowl as one word (much of the media does) or is it also copyrighted?

c1) You must have

BHD says:

Justifying their jobs?

Could this be an instance of some employees having to justify their jobs, like politicians, by taking some sort of action(s) to prevent copyright infringement, or at least appear to be battling it? That way those employees and their leadership can show that they’re working hard for the company.

The reason I bring up this possibility is that it seems like this happens a lot in business, politics, and elsewhere. People seem to focus on the benefits of one thing, in this case “proving their worth” to the company, and they lose focus of any ramifications it may have.

Anonymous Coward says:

off topic reply to Spartcacus

Christians complain of being persecuted although they make up 80% of the population, control the Presidency, (until recently) had both branches of Congress and the Supreme Court – and they have the unmitigated gall to complain about being persecuted.
When leaders make their followers believe they are being treated badly, they are employing one of the oldest tricks in history to keep the sheep in line.
As Hitler’s propaganda minister Goebbels said – and proved, people swallow big lies more readily than small ones.

Sorry for going off topic but Spartcacus asked for it.

artist says:

What is really the truth

the Super Bowl is the property of the NFL.
The NFL has copyright to it.
Copyright law says that they do have the right to control public viewing.
Where this is getting blown out of proportion is with home viewers.
You can have a Super Bowl party at your house and use a project to view it at any size you want, and as long as you do not charge people, you are fine.
Your house is not considered Public viewing.
A church is considered Public, as are bars and clubs, sports houses etc.
In order for a public place to broadcast the Super Bowl, they have to pay a licensing fee to the NFL.
In the grand scheme of things (despite what fans thinks) it is good business for the NFL to enforce this policy across the board.
They are being paid by advertisers not for viewers, but for viewings.
150 people viewing one broadcast counts as one viewer for advertising purposes (since there is no way to determine how many people are actually watching the screen)
If they did not enforce this, then everyone with any place of business and half a brain would have the game on. The NFL would lose a ton of money because viewership would be down (even though the number of viewers would probably be the same)

As an artist, I love copyright law because it protects my work.
I have chosen to enforce my copyright on big companies, but not on little people because my art work does not constitute my livelihood.
If I lived solely off my artwork, I would enforce my copyright to the fullest extend possible.

As for using the term Super Bowl.
Super Bowl is a trade mark of the NFL.
for a long time, everyone and their uncle was using the term in advertising.
There were Super Bowl sales at electronics stores. (now it is “Watch the Big Game on the Big Screen”)
Why should anyone get a freebie from the NFL to promote their business?
What are they giving to the NFL?
Newspapers use “Super Bowl” in their prints, but NOT in ads.
My morning paper had a section called “Super Bowl Weekend” but the front page that pointed to it said “Everything you need to know about the Big Game inside”
That is the difference between Trade Mark violation and Trade Mark usage

You can use the term Q-tips to describe cotton swabs, But you can not use the term Q-tips to advertise a product (and you must mention the trade mark owner in you use them in a comparison of items, or when used to described cotton swabs in something like an article.
i.e. “Use a Q-tip to clean your keyboard” – Q-tip is a registered trademark of Johnson and Johnson…..

Just because people view this Church as a little person, does not give them the right to infring on the NFLs copyright…..

Vincent Clement says:

Re: What is really the truth

A church is considered Public, as are bars and clubs, sports houses etc.

Says who? Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 110 does not define a church, bar or club as public. In fact, there is no mention that because a place is publicly accessible that you are required to obtain approval of the copyright holder?

What are they giving to the NFL?

Um, I don’t know, free advertising? Making the event much bigger than it is? Making it the so-called ‘premier’ sporting event of the year? Spreading buzz about the big game? Creating interest in the big game? Creating goodwill? I could go on and on.

Artist says:

Re: Re: What is really the truth

“Says who? Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 110 does not define a church, bar or club as public. “
The courts said who.
Numerous cases have been decided on what is and is not a public display.
In the most basic application. Anyplace you do not have an expectation of privacy, i.e. you house, a restroom, a locker room etc… IS a public place.
And public display of copyright material applies.

Public says:

Re: Re: Re: What is really the truth

Anyplace you do not have an expectation of privacy, i.e. you house, a restroom, a locker room etc… IS a public place.

Huh? My house is a public place where I have no expectation of privacy? Maybe you menat the opposite of what you said. If so, then by your “reasoning” there is no such thing as a public restroom.

You’re not a lawyer, are you?

Tommy 2face says:

Re: What is really the truth

The statutory enactments contained in the Copyright Act of 1976 wasn’t created for such hipocracy and unjust practices. It wasn’t developed to prevent consumers to envelop in the envoy of the product. It wasn’t until the Record Rental Amendment of 1984 that copyright law took its real turn to help produce profit for big business. Here is the some law about distribution media: If you look I may be in violation because of the audio and video system I have. I have a 10,000 sq ft house why shouldn’t I be able to enjoy the luxury of a tv larger than 55″ This is outdated and needs to be changed

communication by an establishment of a transmission or retransmission
embodying a performance or display of a nondramatic musical
work intended to be received by the general public, originated by a radio
or television broadcast station licensed as such by the Federal Communications
Commission, or, if an audiovisual transmission, by a cable system
or satellite carrier, if—
(i) in the case of an establishment other than a food service or drinking
establishment, either the establishment in which the communication
occurs has less than 2,000 gross square feet of space (excluding space used
for customer parking and for no other purpose), or the establishment
in which the communication occurs has 2,000 or more gross square feet
of space (excluding space used for customer parking and for no other
purpose) and—
(I) if the performance is by audio means only, the performance is
communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers,
of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or
adjoining outdoor space; or
(II) if the performance or display is by audiovisual means, any visual
portion of the performance or display is communicated by means
of a total of not more than 4 audiovisual devices, of which not more
than 1 audiovisual device is located in any 1 room, and no such audiovisual
device has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches, and any
audio portion of the performance or display is communicated by means
of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4
loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space;
(ii) in the case of a food service or drinking establishment, either the
establishment in which the communication occurs has less than 3,750
gross square feet of space (excluding space used for customer parking and
for no other purpose), or the establishment in which the communication
occurs has 3,750 gross square feet of space or more (excluding space
used for customer parking and for no other purpose) and—
(I) if the performance is by audio means only, the performance is
communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers,
of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or
adjoining outdoor space; or
(II) if the performance or display is by audiovisual means, any
visual portion of the performance or display is communicated by
means of a total of not more than 4 audiovisual devices, of which
not more than 1 audiovisual device is located in any 1 room, and
no such audiovisual device has a diagonal screen size greater than
55 inches, and any audio portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers,
of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1
room or adjoining outdoor space;
(iii) no direct charge is made to see or hear the transmission or retransmission;
(iv) the transmission or retransmission is not further transmitted beyond
the establishment where it is received; and
(v) the transmission or retransmission is licensed by the copyright
owner of the work so publicly performed or displayed;


Re: What is really the truth

ok first you are a painter YOU DONT HAVE A REAL JOB!!!! I DONT KNOW THE LAST TIME I LOOKED FOR A PAINTING, SECOND I GO TO CHURCH AND FOR THE NFL TO INFRINGE ON THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IS WRONG! and you talk about you think the NFL is right for doing so well that is you and the SUPERBOWL Wasnt even all that good in the first place the NFL is slowly going down and if we cant watch the NFL IN CHURCH WE SHOULDNT BE ABLE TO WATCH IT ANYWHERE, they are trying to throw a party a SUPERBOWL PARTY NOT SELL CRACK OR DRUGS A SUPERBOWL PARTY AND ANYONE WHO AGREES SO HELP YOU GOD! O and artist more like prick GET A REAL JOB!

MDAG (user link) says:

Bad call on this play

I read about this church’s situation yesterday and felt the NFL was wrong in there decision. From what I understand the church only wanted to provide a place for families to get together and watch the game without the bar atmosphere. However the NFL feels that this would cause them to lose money or something, so screw it! I don’t live in Indianapolis or Chicago so I don’t really care much about this game. I really would only be watching for the commercial and possible the half-time show. So I won’t watch the “big game” this year because of the NLF lame take on this situation.

John (user link) says:


You gotta be kidding. So in other words all large screens should not be displaying the Super Bowl. I wonder how advertisers are going to react next year when they realize that less people will be watching because they’re not allowed to view it in public.

This is just plain stupid, I think I’m not even going to watch the game this time, I could care less about either teams…I’m going to spend quality time with my family and play with the free software I jsut got off of

Sanguine Dream says:

Oh really...

Sounds like the NFL is jealous that most people watch the game for the ads and half time show now. For the most part only fans of the two teams care about the game itself.

And frankly unless the NFL is going to subpeona the cable/satellite/tv bills of everyone in world I really don’t see how they can tell who is “infringing”. And even if they do manage to get that info how can they tell who is using a tv of 55″.

MCP3521 says:

Wake UP NFL !!!

So according to this article, every sports bar in the country is violating this 55″ rule then right? All the NFL is getting ready to do is shoot themselves in the foot.

The LCD/Plasma makers should be telling the NFL to shut it’s pie hole. Hard core football fans only buy the bigger TV’s JUST to watch the “Big Game”. If they continue to get stupid over this rule, people will just stop buying the larger boxes which will hurt everyone involved.

It’s bad enough that when I was younger you could go see a NFL game for $10 per seat.(back in the 80’s) Now it’s $50 for the noise bleed sections, and now they pull stuff like this? insane…..

Nasty Old Geezer says:

Maybe legal

THe NFL may be on solid legal grounds, but that does not mean they are doing a wise thing. For many years churches wil Sunday evening services had tried to set up competing events. THere has been a recent wave of acquiesence that many people want to watch the game so the churches were using their media equipment to host “Big Game” parties.

The NFL should have done a demographic/economic analysis first — I believe they would have found a real benefit from the church events. Rather than sending threats, they should allow any church to receive a no-cost license to show NFL games (but not to record, rebroadcast, etc.)

It would be easy enough to verify, just request the organization’s tax-exemption number and address, with information about the number of screens, screen size, number of attendees, etc. Pure gold and good will for the NFL.

Bah, football says:

Laws gone wild.

Artist, although your comments about protecting your revenue are correct, I don’t see how it applies. Yes they get revenue from ads, but you can’t tell me that “Big Brother” can tell if 30 families are sitting at home watching versus 30 families at the church watching one feed. If they were Nielson families maybe, but all those numbers you hear about viewerships are made up guesstimates… besides, what difference would a handfull of churches make versuses the entire viewership of the world? It’s .000000001% – maybe.

You never Know says:

It boils down to “Protect the industry” if there is money in suing the fan and limiting the enjoyment in order to make a few more bucks, then you can bet some one is going to do it. The biggest problem is they know even is they loose a few fans there are more than enough to make up for it. And with such a fan base there is lots of opportunity for money making law suits. Now if any one wants to pick up the ball and try to defend the “cause” lets review the subject. The term “Super Bowl” was and is an advertising medium to act as an invitation to watch the game. It was intended to be used to signify the last game of the best teams of the year. So the industry can afford to present his game to the “Public” it features advertisements for products and services who pay for the privilege of presenting their wears, if you will, to the most people they can. To try to reek more profit by limiting the amount of viewers and control the usage of their advertising seems awfully counterproductive to me, but there is short term high profits to be made by doing so. This is their only reason for trying to bottle up the advertisement and terminology used by the NFL , MLB, and any other entity who are willing to prosecute their supporters. Their attitude is the same as that of the RIAA and the MPAA, the “Fan” is nothing more than a peace of trash to be exploited and tossed aside. If you can prove me wrong, please do so!

John says:

Let's all advertise that we are having large Super

Hey, let all advertise that we are having a Super Bowl Party and inviting all of our friends and we have 70 inch TVs. Let’s see how many lawyers the NFL can hire to come after us all. Once we all show up in court then this country will realize how stupid the NFL and other are for forcing us to fit into their stupid little single tv, single viewer Nielsen Ratings counts.

Mark says:

Why it happened

The real reason this NFL copyright thing happened? Stores were the biggest problem. They used the SuperBowl and NFL logos to advertise products and sales to make a profit. The NFL did not recieve any of that profit. Bars were the same way, they all threw big Superbowl parties. Advertised the party using NFL and SuperBowl logos to make a profit without paying the NFL. That is where the ruling came from. The problem is, Lawyers got involved and took it to the extreme. Non-profit organizations that want to hold something can get around those lawyers by advertising it as a gathering to watch the event for. They can ask for donations to defay the costs for holding the event, but cannot charge admission. Believe it or not, if a church were to charge members to watch a movie (DVD) on the bigscreen, it would be the same copyright infringement.

Vincent Clement says:

Re: Why it happened

Don’t confuse copyright with trademark. Mike, perhaps it is time for refresher on Patents, Copyrights and Trademark?

The NFL did receive plenty of free advertising when stores used the Super Bowl and NFL logos. This advertising made the game even bigger and more important that it was 10 or so years ago. But like every business that is based on an outdated model, they just want to squeeze every last penny, regardless of the negative impact.

safusa says:

55 inch

If the copyright law has a limit of 55 inches, then anybody that owns a tv large than that is breaking the law. So how they the TV companies sell the TV’s knowing they are breaking the law.

They seem to want to have it both ways, push the HD TV, big screen, but also limit the number of people that want to view it.

Once the church decided not to charge, and to take the “super bowl” out, they should be able to allow people to watch it, if they allow people at home to watch it on tv’s bigger than 55 inches.

Just another way for them to promote the game, more hype.

George from NY says:

Big Brother - NWO

The NFL just needs more viewers – more TV’s = more ratings. Politicians looking for extra money is also part of this. All those home electronic shops will benefit from folks buying more TV’s due to this law. One of many laws that are Stupid, but can be used against you.

Freedom continues to be taken away people –

seti (user link) says:


I wonder how much these sports agency put into the alternative of such restrictions, with that being…NOT WATCHING!

There are dedicated fans of sports (football, baseball, soccer, etc…), but at what point do fans decide that being sued for watching a game on their 60″ screen is more than they are willing to tolerate. No one loses in these home get together’s to watch these games. With the food, drink, NFL merchandise (jersey’s or other team spirit clothing), and so on that is present…these organizations aren’t losing anything…it’s a win all for most.

It is truly insane the direction that sports is taking…the greed and control is amazing.

Mick says:

NFL Players and Home Theaters

I wonder if the NFL is going to send nasty grams to any of their own players – who are watching the game in the home theater rooms with giant projector screens and hosting parties?

My question is when a church group or the ACLU will sue the league for choosing to go after this church and not players or other establishments violating this agreement.

Tin Ear says:

Hmmm, Use a projector...

There once was a poor tailor in old Chinatown. Every day he would take his meager lunch of rice and sit on his front step so he could smell the scents coming from the popular restaurant next door while he ate. This went on for quite a while, until the restaurant owner found out what he was doing and sent him a bill for ‘enjoying his food’. The tailor asked one of his customers, a judge, what he should do. The next day, the tailor went into the restaurant next door carrying his cash box. He went up to the restaurant owner and shook the box loudly, stating “For the scents of your food, I pay you the sound of my money. Mark me ‘paid in full’.”

If the NFL is going to be piddling about the size of the screen you watch the game on, use a projector! The screen is less than 2 inches square. The projection is only a reflection of the actual display. Can they charge you for standing outside the stadium and listening? No, that is incidental to the game. A reflection on the wall, of any size, should be the same. It is incidental to the actual display… Of course, this is just the sort of technicality that the lawyers drool over.

Overcast says:

Fine, I’ll skip going to my friends house to watch the game.
I won’t be watching it at home either. I don’t think I’ve ever watched the super bowl sitting at the house by myself, I always watch with friends.

Good news for ‘copyright’ – bad news for ‘advertising’.


One can only pray they have lower ratings this year than any other.

Oh well, I can take it or leave it, no big deal at all.

grapeshot says:


The NFL is not making their money via advertising costs. The NETWORK that is broadcasting the game is making money from the advertising. The NFL has already made its money from the licensing fee that the NETWORK paid to it in order to be able to broadcast the game. (Unless, that is, if the NFL and the NETWORK have signed an agreement to share the advertising revenue.)

Unfortunately, it is nonetheless true that the content of the broadcast belongs to the NFL. And yes, showing the broadcast to a large number of people, even if nothing is charged for it, and even if it is in a private home, is technically a violation of the copyright. At a PUBLIC venue, such as a bar or a church, it’s definitely copyright infringement, and isn’t covered by “fair use”. Fair use is limited to showing something in your home, and to a limited amount of people. (I’m not sure what that limit is. 15 or 20 people, I think.)

It is doubly unfortunate that the NFL has chosen to go after only churches, and not bars, which also routinely have Superbowl parties. It is certainly not good PR, and if the NFL goes too far in this direction, it will only decrease their goodwill in the eye of the public, and could have deeper repercussions as well.

a says:

This is actually a brilliant move by the NFL. Make sure that a church group can’t bring in a bunch of people to watch the game. Absolutely brilliant. Why do you ask is that brilliant?

Chances are, those folks who were going to their church to watch the game got pissed off, and promised to not watch the game. Other church goers from around the country probably didn’t like the publicity, and will boycott the game. Considering the commercials that will run and the halftime show, you think maybe its not a bad idea to have a bunch of bible thumpers watching the game? Hell, the church probably had some emails already drawn up protesting the ads or the halftime show, all ready for their congregation to send off to the FCC.

I like the NFL’s stance. You don’t like nipples? Then to hell with you and damm the profits. You want to offer a nice, alcohol free place to watch our game? Screw you. Go to a bar. I bet if the church had advertised that their would be strippers at halftime, the NFL wouldn’t have given them a hard time. Football isn’t for wimps, and the west wasn’t won on a salad.

Geoff says:


I have finally figured this one out. The NFL is going after the churches because they are fearful that Prince is going to have a wardrobe malfunction at halftime (are we allowed to call it halftime or do they own that one too?) and the NFL does not want to have to deeal with the Moral Majority coming after them telling them that football is bad and that Prince’s nipple (pierced or not pierced I wonder?) is an infringement on people’s right to watching morally appealing properties on their televisions.

I’m pretty sure I have this thing nailed down!

Overcast says:

Well, my belief’s aside – I’m not a ‘church goer’.

Actually, I’m more of a bar fly.

It’s not the fact it was a Church – doesn’t matter, that’s completely irrelevant.

Funny how the NFL says a church can’t have a showing of the Superbowl.

I IM’ed my boss with the web page – yeah, it’s gonna get around now 🙂 Big sports circle here. His comment was, “funny how they can tell a Church not to aire the superbowl, with the NFL’s current ‘image’ of half it’s players in Jail, you’d think they would be happy about that.”

I like hot chicks, beer, liquor, and seedy bars as much as anyone I know. But this still pisses me off~~

But does it really matter? From an advertiser’s point of view – who cares what ‘religion’ a buyer or potential buyer is. I’m sure many ‘Church Goers’ drink Budweiser, Drive Chevys, and use Visa…

Buzz (profile) says:

I've heard this before!

For the record, I am not a football fan. I don’t know team names, famous athletes, etc. I think it’s all a big waste of time, but so are video games, and I like video games. Anyway, the NFL is way out of line here. I used to live in a place in Washington where the local church buildings would host similar football game viewing parties. I understand drawing the line at charging an entry fee, but banning it altogether for copyright infringement?

Did anyone else read that article about how handing off a digital camera to a friend to take picture for you was violation of the software license embedded inside? I think it was a Techdirt article even. Regardless, do these company people live life at all? Do the people at the camera companies ever stop to think that more-than-likely they have handed cameras off to friends for certain shots? Heck, all we have to do is search their albums for a picture of themselves, and they’re busted! Did it ever occur to the NFL that people have been gathering to watch the games on HUGE screens for YEARS now? (I know that just because something has been in practice for a while doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right, but in this instance, I think it’s OK.) I know I’m not a football fan, but isn’t that half the fun? How many out there like to watch the game alone?

By the way, I just came from working in a men’s dormitory at a university. There is a 65-inch TV in the main lounge where guys would gather to watch games all the time. The NFL really should hear about it… 😛

Buzz (profile) says:


NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league’s long-standing policy is to ban “mass out-of-home viewing” of the Super Bowl. An exception is made for sports bars and other businesses that show televised sports as a part of their everyday operations.

“We have contracts with our (TV) networks to provide free over-the-air television for people at home,” Aiello said. “The network economics are based on television ratings and at-home viewing. Out-of-home viewing is not measured by Nielsen.”

That clenches it. This shows how stupid they really are. They have contracts with networks to provide FREE over-the-air television. So, they’re throwing a fit because they won’t receive accurate ratings. They’re trying to ban the very thing that makes the Super Bowl so wonderful.

Stickin It To The Man says:


I will now be using my projector to host a Super Bowl Party for everyone on my street. I’m also going to record the game and play it again right after it’s over. I know some people that have to work and would love to watch it later. I will project it at the max size which for my projector is about 6′ by 12′. I hope the NFl comes knockingand I really hope they sue I own nothing not even a car. If they go after my paycheck I will just quit I don’t really have to work anyway. It just keeps me busy, thank my grandfather for a large trust fund that is not in this country. He is/was Venezulean and all the money remains there. Let’s see how they like that, ass hats the lot of them

Anonymous Coward says:

Your home theater is safe, no matter how big

From the “definitions” section of 17 USC:

An “establishment” is a store, shop, or any similar place of business open to the general public for the primary purpose of selling goods or services in which the majority of the gross square feet of space that is nonresidential is used for that purpose, and in which nondramatic musical works are performed publicly.

A “food service or drinking establishment” is a restaurant, inn, bar, tavern, or any other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink, in which the majority of the gross square feet of space that is nonresidential is used for that purpose, and in which nondramatic musical works are performed publicly.

Merc says:


How much more pathetic do you have to be? Players already make a ridiculous amount of money, the leagues make the same and the sprt itself is out of control!!

When will they realize that it is the FANS that make them who they are? What would they do if the fans said “to hell with the SUPER BOWL” and found someting else to do that day? Of course the thought is obsurd and it would never happen. However, just because of the article I know I won’t watch it. If even for the fact it is two teams I care anothing about.

Ambo says:

TVs in Cars and Wait till RIAA reads this

Last Week while I was waiting for my daughter to get through with dance, I watched a small part of a movie on the drop down TV in the SUV parked in front of me. I couldn’t hear the sound, but now that I think about it, they were probably breaking the law by letting me see the screen. It was a public viewing of a movie.

I love how Dr. offices still showed Disney movies in their waiting rooms even after Disney tried to put a stop to it. I wonder if they still do that. Thankfully, haven’t had anyone young enough for the pediatrician for several years.

When my neighbor is working on his 18 wheeler, he blast his 80 rock. The sound is not contained in his yard. I can just see the RIAA people riding around towns looking for people “sharing” their music with their neighbors. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to put limits on how loud our radios will play to prevent this from happening.

Russ says:


NFL (Near F****ING LUNACY!!!

They have got to be kidding! What about the people “over there” who will be watching “the big game” in MWR centers in variousl “hot spots” around the globe? On proxima projectors? Will the NFL get their panties in a wad over that? Me personally, I could care less about football, the Super Bowl, big game or what have you…but them telling a church no. Pardon est moi, but F*** you NFL! You make too much money while the guys in the uniforms (Not military) make WAY too much money playing a GAME! So, on Sunday (Which we, may I assume can no longer call Superbowl Sunday) I will watch my 6 week old drool on herself instead. It will be way more enjoyable than the “Big Game” Besides, one team will win one will lose, regardless if I watch or not.

This is INSANE says:

Church or no Church I think the NFL is taking this way too far. They are abusing their power. The best way to teach them a lesson is to hit them where it hurts – their revenu. Stop buying the products that are advertised during the ‘Super Bowl’ and stop buying their merchandise. I can’t say don’t watch the game, there are people out there who love the game of football and could care less who is going to be the half time show. Next thing you know, we are goign to have to pay $100 dollars to watch the game on pay per view. It is very sad to see what this world is coming to.

me (damnit) says:

And I'd like to remind the NFL...

that they can kiss my pigskin balls.

The very fact that screen size has anything at all to do with this is simply assinine.

Maybe the NFL should ask their advertisers and sponsors their opinion (yes I know they are actually the network’s advertisers, but the money still ends up in the NFL’s pocket).

See how many chip, beer, TV, etc. companies would support the end of Super Bowl parties. You know, where I invite 50-60 people over, we watch it on SEVERAL large screens, and they all cram lots of grub down their throats. You know, where I DON’T charge admission and in the end up spending several hundred dollars on stuff the advertisers sell to entertain all these people.

Yeah, lets see how much money the advertisers and sponsors wouldn’t make if the SB parties ended.

I’ll give you a hint, NFL. There’s a very good reason the chip & beer folks want to promote themselves with the SB: revenue. People don’t buy all that crap if they’re sitting home alone watching.

The NFL. Maybe that means “Not For Long”. Dillholes.

Steve says:

The Church should PAY

The church should pay just like any other commercial establishment charging people to view the game. BUT, it will be a cold day in hell before the football fans of America pay the NFL for showing the Super Bowl or any other game to a home full of family and friends.

I’d drop football completely if the NFL pursued a single private party for hosting a Super Bowl get together.

a guy says:

Church bashing not necessary...

I don’t even go to church, but there’s no need to bash these church people. It’s not like they’re inviting the general public in by the hundreds or thousands, charging $50 a head and building a new gym from the proceeds. They’re just providing a place for their members (and sure, maybe a few non-members) to come enjoy the game together. It’s just a bit of outreach to people, and they’re asking for a few bucks to cover their costs. They’re non-profit for pete’s sake.

What’s the NFL thinking? If these people don’t watch it at church, they’ll fly in for the game? Give me a break. Even if they did, they’d have to get their tickets from scalpers! There’s the only place they’re losing any real revenue. They should just auction the tickets off an hour before the game!

Andy says:

NFL copyright

Seems to me that the paymaster should have something to say agout who watches and how. The paymaster in this case is the people who put up the big bucks for TV adds. I would think they would want every person possible to be watching in what ever manner possible so they can get their moneys worth. When they see what these picky rules are doing to their advertising dollers, maybe they won’t want to pay so much for the adds.

kurttrail (user link) says:

The NFL LIED to the church.

“in the case of a food service or drinking establishment, either the establishment in which the communication occurs has less than 3,750 gross square feet of space (excluding space used for customer parking and for no other purpose), or the establishment in which the communication occurs has 3,750 gross square feet of space or more (excluding space used for customer parking and for no other purpose) and—
(I) if the performance is by audio means only, the performance is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space; or
(II) if the performance or display is by audiovisual means, any visual portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 4 audiovisual devices, of which not more than one audiovisual device is located in any 1 room, and no such audiovisual device has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches, and any audio portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space;”

In other words, since the church is NOT a “food service or drinking establishment,” then they aren’t bound by the 55″ limit, and neither are you in your own home.

Corporate Lawyers suck, and will lie about the law, to get you to believe in total nonsense.

Brad Eleven (profile) says:

re: What is really the truth

1. The truth is subjective, i.e., does not exist independently of human consciousness. Thanks for sharing yours.

2. The NFL is pulling the old MPAA/RIAA tactic, e.g., going after small entities who can’t afford to defend themselves legally.

Ridiculous. Unenforceable. Evidence of more corporate leaders detached from reality.

- says:

What the hell is the world coming to. Everybody is so anal about every possible cent they have the potential to gain from anything it’s ruining freedoms and liberties nobody ever thought would be put into question. What I’ve gained from this article is that if I were to invite a few friends over to watch the Super Bowl (gasp!) on my beautiful 60 inch high definition plasma, and made it public, the NFL would come after me for legal purposes. Does anybody realize how f*cking ridiculous that is??? In sheer protest to all this, I will have all my friends over on Super Bowl Sunday, hang up signs broadcasting the name Super Bowl in everypossible space in my house, display the game on every screen on the premises, including 2 55″, 1 60″, and one 80″. I will then proceed to charge everyone $1 to come, therefore completely and totally defying the crybaby NFL execs, and in my own words, telling them and everyone else adhering to this insane trend of fighting to your last breath for every penny within your line of sight, to f*ck off. All this coming from a man who is, himself, obsessed with business and making money, but would never stoop to such an whining immature level.

Devon says:


WTF?!?!? Since when is it cool to slap lawsuits on your customers? Or even threaten it for that matter?

What difference does it make if out of the millions of people watching the game, 20 or 30 people get together and watch it. It’s a social thing. If I had a big enough TV, I’d ADVERTISE a SUPER BOWL (oh no!!! copyright infringement!!!) party just to spite them. This is so lame. I don’t even like football all that much, but to do something like this… It’s like Bill Gates complaining that he’s a penny short in change. It’s stupid.

You know what? I’ll do it anyway!

Everyone come to my place for a PUBLIC showing of the SUPER BOWL the ENTRANCE FEE is $5.00 A PIECE.

HAHA!! I’m making money off the SUPER BOWL!


Frnak says:

Churches, Persecution, and Money

Why do churches do this? They are trying to draw in people who would otherwise stay away from church on Super Bowl night. Then they have a mini-sermon during halftime.

But what Christians (I am one) ought to be doing is going to a regular church service on Sunday night and worshiping God, not worshiping football. For those who think the NFL is persecuting them: maybe this is a wake-up call from God. Put your attention on Him, not football.

And if you really think the NFL (or the nefarious “they”) are out to get Christians, wake up. They want money, nothing else. If fact, they are doing this for the very same reason the churches are: they think this will cause people to go to church on Super Bowl night rather than somewhere else. And if that somewhere else is a restaurant or bar that pays a license fee, the NFL has lost money.

Besides this isn’t persecution. If you possess a Bible in Saudi Arabia, you go to jail. Having an unregistered church service in your home in China lands you in jail. THAT’s persecution, not this. Stop whining and turn your eyes toward Jesus. The NFL is irrelevant.

NFL_and_the_mattress_police says:

NFL and the mattress police

roflmao – what’s next? The mattress police doing house searches to see if the tag that says “do not remove under penalty of the law” has been removed from your mattresses/pillows? Watch out – the FBI may stake out your house over something like this.

This political correctness is getting out of hand. People have lost the power to the almighty dollar. Being a huge NFL fan I’m embarrased that they’d even make a huge deal out of a church doing this.

If anything they should promote this good will in such places to gain bigger audiences but apparrently the NFL has gotten fat and content on it’s gains from the fans over the last few years. I lost interest in baseball during the last strike and haven’t missed it for years. At this rate I’m sure I can find something to pass the time away so I don’t have to worry about infringing on NFL rights… this world has gone mad…

SettleDown says:

Common Sense

Calm down, kids. The church isn’t going to have to shut its doors over this, nor is the NFL coming after you for your Super Bowl shrine or billboard-sized TV screen.

The church should do the “Christian” thing:
1) Obey the law
2) Allow the congregation to watch the game on the church equipment at no cost. If they pass a collection plate in the middle of the game… so what? That’s what churches do.

If the NFL chose to come after them (and they wouldn’t), the NFL would have to show damage or violation of the law.

This would constitute following the law and allowing your members to commune.

Incidentally, the more popular something is, the more aggressively its copyright must be defended. Try distributing a likeness of Micky Mouse or Homer Simpson through your website. You WILL be contacted.

rstr5105 says:

A little Off topic, well not really.....

It seems to me, that for good or for bad, the Striesand(SP?) effect is in full force right now. I mean look at this, here we all are discussing the super bowl, (super bowel?), talking about the NFL, and basically giving them free publicity, one way or another.

There is an old saying out there no news travels like bad news, well, this proves it. We’re all thinking NFL right now. Be it NFL Rocks, or NFL Sucks.

Thanks techdirt, for helping them out.

Sean Christiansen (user link) says:

KILL DRM while you still can. Call your representa

You will need to start with the DRM issues if you want to win this fight. Later you can tell the GREEDY NFL to kiss you LEFT AND RIGHT CHEEKS. FIRST stop the Studios,music companies, and television industry by killing all Digital Rights Managment tools (DRM) ASAP. Second stop going to SPORTING events,buying into anything that helps THE NFL or the owners, OR WATCHING ON TV. Help the players if you can but don’t support the GREEDY at the top. Watching on TV only helps to pay the bills and line the pockets of the NFL. Pretty soon they will want to charge you for every eyeball watching in the room. Stop this crap now while you still have a chance. Call your elected officals and get informed on the topics of DRM use. DRM is not your FRIEND.

mr mcse (user link) says:

DRM and the NFL DONT VOTE for DRM supporters

DONT VOTE FOR Dianne Feinstein United States Senator because she introduces DRM legilation under many names and is a BIG supporter(SUPORTED) of the STUDIOS and RECORD LABLES. Supporting her supports DRM. Checkout the GOODFIGHT at
They support and maintain YOUR Bill of RIGHTS in the digital world. Just visit and read and get informed. NO COSTS TO YOU. Get on their mailling list. All they will send is an email heads up to help stop a new stupid act or bill right when it is trying to get support. It’s up to you. Be active or lose your rights.

john noonan (profile) says:


I am plain and simple sick of this corporate crap. It sucks to be alive during this era because corporations have become so uptight and our country has become so uptight that everything is worried about. It might cost someone somewhere some money….

This stuff makes me sick. If we aren’t overly worried about the “terrorist threat” than we are worried about getting screwed.

rstr5105 says:

Way to go captain math

Bah, Football says: “what difference would a handfull of churches make versuses the entire viewership of the world? It’s .000000001% – maybe.”
Good job, captain math, .000000001% of the world’s population is about 6.5% of a single person.

Actually its roughly 652.5% of one person. Or in other words 6.525 people.

Way to go captain math!

leroy says:

maintaining the value

I swear, one of the big parts of the overall distribution rules of games like the Superbowl is to restrict access. The NFL maintains the value of it’s “product” by restricting access. Making it as hard to get to as reasonably possible is a big part of how it protects it’s value. The NFL itself is not the direct beneficiary of TV advertising, it’s the distribution of the video that they protect. They want to make it a little difficult to see it or record it because if it was available everywhere, on every rock, on every billboard, then the loose control and the value decreases. Ever wonder why this game is not simulcast on the NFL Channel?

And why would anyone pay $25 to “own a copy of this program” when they can pop in a DVD or tape and make a copy for themselves? In the long run they want to make it technically impossible to make home recordings, getting you used to that idea now. But this is their goal.

Long term, their goal is that you may view it, but not record it without paying extra. Look at the bottom of your Directv or Dish receivers. You’ll see the sticker for Macrovision Inc. The technology to halt home recording is in place today.


workingindust says:

What about for those serving in Iraq/Afghanistan

Damn, looks like the MWR will have to cancel the Super Bowl parties because they have 4 60″ tv’s in the fest tent (and a big party it will be BTW). Thanks NFL, you’re going to have a bunch of pissed off Soldiers, Saliors, Airmen and Marines, armed to the teeth and looking at you as the root cause because you canceled their few moments of relaxation (I wouldn’t call it that because they’ll be waking up at 03:30 to watch it live, but you get the point).

Zergy says:

Struck a cord

Looks like Mike struck a nerve with this one. Mind you it looks like all the christians and non christians are fighting over post # 2. Like saying there is no god, makes your point right. But to Focus, it really is sad the the NFL picked a church to pick on. Like any of these guys were gonna go to the game. I would just boycott like have the people are say they will now, only because they weren’t gonna watch it anyways. Rememeber this. Its about the money. Corps don’t care about anything else, they only sponser cause it get the peopel to believe they are “good” but its all about the money. To quote a great movie, the greatest trick the devil ever played is covincing the world he doesn’t exist.

Ok with all that said, who will be the first to flame my comments with the hatred that always seems to come from one of these assuming posts. I wait in anticipation. Throw in some insults about my mother while your at it, eh?

P.S to lazy to spell check

Evil Shiester says:

Stop Your Belly Aching!

Oh you whiners! Stop your belly aching already!

We all know the only religion being practiced on Super Bowl Sunday is MONEY. We tune in to watch the mediocer game but we also love to watch those multi-million dollar commecials and that’s mostly what we talk about anyway after the game.

They know we’re slaves to their system and now they’re treating us like it. Nobody pipped a squeek when new copyright laws were being enacted; nobody cared. But now that they’re using them to their advantage and it’s affecting your ‘lifestyle’ negatively, you’re ready to act.

Too late, suckers! Perhaps this will teach you all a good civics lesson the next time some Fascist Corporate Lobbyist says your 56″ TV is a ‘public broadcast device’ and NFL Inc. sends you a bill for $1000 for every game you publicly displayed and $5000 for the “Big Game”.

Personally, I think the Simpsons is going to be a more entertaining afternoon. Or (God Forbid) a good book!

Don’t let that American Fascist Corporate Oppression get you down; you voted for it! Remember?


Evil Shiester

Mike says:

NFL Hormone deficiency perhaps ?

Dumb *** shortsighted … arrogant .. NFL Officials

If it wasn’t for the fans they would have **** right now .. funny how they only see $$green$$ when they are successful … and I ain’t talkin about the turf.

The fans made the NFL .. no one else

What a bunch of jutzes

May their balls turn to footballs

I only have one thing to say .. quote from a comic Mad magazine 1961.

” ikky poo “

Konkrete Kids (user link) says:

How much do you pay a year in football tax for you

“Most of us would never think of asking our neighbors to foot a personal bill. We accept responsibility for car and roof repairs as ours alone. In addition, we don’t bang on the door across the street in order to demand a contribution towards our children’s figure skating lessons, taekwondo classes, etc. That which is consumed or used by our families is to be paid from our pockets — the definition of personal responsibility.

Now let’s change the situation slightly. Instead of a figure skating lesson — the realm of the private good, consider the local public high school football team…”

Is High School Football a Public Good?

Yogi Bear (Come and get me, WB!) says:


That’s right, tomorrow instead of watching “The Big Game” and looking at Prince’s tit, I think I’ll record it and watch the commercials later! And while we’re at it, Fuck the RIAA (Downloading’s cool), Fuck the MPAA ($8.00 for a movie and $3.50 for a fuckin’ box of milk duds you can buy at the Dollar Tree), and Fuck VIACOM! (Yea, the one who owns CBS, Comedy Central, Nick, MTV, VH1, TVLand, Blockbuster Video, Billboards, Paramount, Showtime, O.B. Tampons, Haley’s M.O., etc.

|333173|3|_||3 says:


as I understand it, facts cannot be copyrighted, so anyone could produce thier own commentary. furthermore, anyone can advertise a TV watching session for superbowl sunday, because this does not violate any trademark. THe church can charge attendees for chips & dip, even if tehy buy more than they will use for this, and sell it later (prove it!). THey can even have someone at the door, asking for donations. If the church hall is considered to be a public place, then all that has to be done is for someone who has a large basemnet, preferably one with its own external door, to use that for the purpose, and then it is in a private place, even if the Priest announces it and everyone knows it is an official Parish event.

sacker says:

to some of you posting

I am from New England and I am going to watch this SUPER BOWL game on a projection system with friends and it is none of the NFL’s business. With that said and being a a big football fan I have read a lot of these postings and I have some questions for some of you out there.

If you are not going to watch the game why are you spending time here?
If you think the 2 teams in the SUPER BOWL are mediocre then how do you describe the Miami Dolphins?
18-0 mediocre what planet are you from?
What’s wrong with church goers?
If you don’t go to church then what are you worshiping?
If you posted with the law 170-2 stated or something like that then aren’t you on the wrong forum?
I might have made some typing errors but why don’t you check your’s before you submit?
How can someone who claims to have never watched a SUPER BOWL with the New England Patriots playing know so much about those games?
Am I right after the SUPER BOWL everyone is thinking I’ll never pay for the NFL network?

Rachel says:

They put it on public television...

The Super Bowl is broadcasted on public television. What does it matter if a group of people want to watch it on a projector? A projector isn’t even technically a TV screen.

Not to mention that you can watch the game on the internet. Technically the internet public. Absolutely anyone can get on and watch. If they NFL has to issue liscenses so that sports bars can show the game to a group of people, then shouldn’t they be paying for the internet broadcasts as well? (Should they be paying Al Gore? I mean, he invented the internet!)

The whole situation is completely stupid, and whether or not you still watch the Super Bowl, it won’t make any difference. Pretty much everyone watches it for the commercials anyways.

JLR says:

public performance

Does ANY copyrighted viewing on a screen over 55 inches become a public performance? Since Copyright Law is defining Public Performance as any screen over 55 inches. Make it a law that any screen over 55 inches comes with a requirement that the “public” has access to this screen. Otherwise this whole argument falls apart. If I have a screen over 55 inches and post such notice in the local news paper does that mean I can’t use my big screen to watch anything copyrighted?

David Whitten says:

Greedy Pigs

So, the NFL is pissing and moaning about copyright infringements eh? First of all, you could not pay me enough to watch the buffoons in question. The NFL knows their addicted audience don’t they? There are cretins who would pay to see the Super Bowl if there were a charge imposed. Had the church asked for a donation instead of charging, then the argument might have been more interesting. God versus the NFL. How rich.

Sandy says:

Super Bowl?

I remember during the Viet Nam War, people had designed a bumber sticker, that said: What if they gave a WAR, and NOBODY came?
So I say: What if they had a Super Bowl (or callit whatever you want) and nobody came to watch the game, or tune in the TV Station that (supposedly) holds the strings to the broadcast? What to they,the Big TV Chains, the Big Sports Consortiums, to control how the sport loving Americans watch the games. What if NOBODY cares WHO hit a Homer, made a TD pass, Scored a TD and every thing elso connected with Sports. They will have to beg John Q. American, to come watch their games, free, and even throw in a HOT Dog!
We Americans, due to our Sporting inclination, allowed Big Corps. to pass rules as to who can, and when, watch sporting events. Let’s go back to being more Sport conscious, and less Profit conscious!

arvidis lithuanicus spartacus (user link) says:

more than copyright infringement

Hey; Lorenzo Tonti et al, all the way to the Bernie Madoff shock-test, wow…..Mr. Greenspan must be chuckling, or hiding under a casino somewhere? Quick recap….Armstrong Committee…Jeckyll Island, Aldrich Bill, Federal Reserve Act1913….1933 and HJR192…no Quo warranto….resulting in Public Policy and end to Public National Money System(Gold Standard)….Dutch Robbels Bank of Netherlands holding receivership of the UNITED STATES bankruptcy…..and we are now chattel(pledged by Council of State Government’s “Governors Conference”) property in a massive federal Tontine scheme… by a credit policy….last man standing (Exon, yadda-yadda, bling, bling, bling, bang!) Oh,the “Good Ship Earth”…..Operations Research Technical Manual TM-SW7905.1 and info gathering (IRS et al 150 nation agreement via United Nations-IMF….who pays Paulson? PL 94-564?, anyway)…GHW Bush refers to the “Superfund”. (Remember, no more Great Registers and we are all nothing but chattel property and collateral to the Federal Reserve for the bankruptcy of the US in 1933?). Well, this(Superfund)is an accouint opened in the World Bank under a fictitious name, wherein the Great Registers and yourselves, as chattel property, are the assets of the account. Every person in this nation(open borders anyone?),being chattel property and collateral to the bankruptcy, has been insured(anyone for a good war, like Smedley Butler?)by the Federal Reserve. It is the Great Registers of allodial property and your persons, as insured chattel,that comprise the “Superfund”. The account number of this account is the same infamous bank account no.which brought about the demise of Baring’s Bank in England. This same when these banks go down, or moneys are lost….bailout anyone? Participants in this monetary feeding frenzy into this World Bank account, number 888888888, are Goldman Sachs, et al, and others in contract to the U.S. Government, aka Ariel Life Systems, DFG Inc., Palm Springs Baseball Club and other Baseball Clubs….with recent additions and Box Gangs,etc…, you see, the Federal Reserve is a Maritime Limited Liability corporation, or insurance company holding unauthorized life insurance policies on American Citizens that are deposited directly into World bank actt. no.88-8888888, which is used as the “National Faith and Credit”of the United States. If you want to watch the Super Bowl on something larger than a 55” screen you’ll have to pay the full price of admission, if invited (likely not), unless you have a contact in the Palm Beach Baseball Club. I’d recommend Bart Giamatti over at Contoys bar in New Haven…but he’s dead and I haven’t spoken to the old man in years……you might try 125 High St…..that’s a pretty hard ticket too. Cowhill Rd,anyone?…….Wake up!

Doc Holliday says:

What is really the truth

As one who worker for the largest “Performing Rights” Organizations in the World, here are the facts.

By US law immediate family and friends do not constitute a Public Performance. A Copyright infringement occurs with two events happen, 1.) when those that are not immediate family and friends gather, 2.) when they perform a copyright event live or broadcast.

And they are a few exemptions. Music performed in the normal church service is exempt from copyright infringement, but if the Church should have a concert, outside of a normally scheduled service, they would need to get permission to do so or they would be committing copyright infringement. Music performed at weddings, birthdays, wakes, funerals, etc. are exempt from copyright laws, because generally the vast majority of people gathered at the event are family and or friends.


Guuyu says:

Greedy Corporations

This is nothing more than a move to block groups from watching football season.

Not only is this highly segregational,but do not think the NFL will stop there. Soon they’ll try to get into our homes (like Netflix) and tell us that we cannot bring our own friends/family to watch on the big-screen with cable that we PAY for because it’s “copyright infringement”

It’s a hindrance of free expression. Now Protect IP does this and WORSE. This bill enables companies to come against individuals who’s content they don’t “like!” and ordinary users can go to jail for 5 years just for posting background music in a review! (Companies have a HISTORY of abusing and censoring the internet. YouTube is a shadow of what it use to be).

If you don’t want the greedy eyes of the corporations and the chocking effect of the government to squash your expression of freedom SIGN against this!

It’s not a joke! Companies are getting desperate/greedy and their trying to censor the world wide web. Soon the internet will be under control like North Korea or China if people don’t stand up for their rights!

Mike N says:

of course a church

Considering the behavior of the Christian Church over the last two thousand years (13 crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, witch burnings, Bosnia, Ireland, turning their back on WWII victims and many others) I don’t think you should complain about being singled out for persecution.
Particularly here where the NFL is after everybody.

Ruth Bryant White (user link) says:

Are We Becoming A Communist Country?

I have seen it all. This article is letting us know that our time is limited. If you want to show something for a worthy cause you and get repay getting the food, and drinks and using your church or renting a spot to show something of importance, you cannot.

If you cannot regain the cost of getting a place where you can show a free video or film to the public, then friends we are already in a communist country. Someone needs to turn this law around to make it fair for everyone. If the NFL or anyone else allows you to see the program in your home then they should say nothing about how you do it or what size screen you show it on.

God, Please restore our country to some kind of sanity.

Richard Rehsler says:

Big Brother

Big Brother is watching you and your freedoms are being curtailed with every interpretation of every law. Our constitution (and the wording thereof) was written by lawyers and accountants with amendments by lobbyists. Of course any action that we take from here on will require a nominal fee to them for their services. It’s what they do. They don’t actually produce anything. Well, with the exception of debt – your debt.

Dave says:

The research done on this article is incomplete and a mistake. The copyright rules do not apply to people, only the corporate PERSON. Read the definition of PERSON in your local state and federal law. People are not persons but people can represent the PERSON because it is people that create law that create PERSON. Challenge me. Government has long pulled the wool over people’s eyes using the PERSON.If you think the aforementioned is out there, you probably wouldnt believe that most people are not required to have a drivers license and that open carrying a pistol has never been illegal and never will be. Instead, they trick people into believing it’s illegal to pay for permission to carry concealed. Concealed carry licenses mean they kno who has guns, what kins and how many and can have an easy alibi to shoot you if they make that mistake.

tracyanne (profile) says:

of course a church


Ahh Pascal’s Wager, which assumes that, that god would be the god your religion believes in. You’d be in a pickle if that god turned out to the god some other religion believes in. As it turns out you are as much an Atheist as I am, you just disbelieve in one fewer god than I do.

Back to the subject.

No it wasn’t persecution of Christians or any other religionists. It was the stupid pointless mindless adherence to a stupid law designed by copyright maximalists, because god forbid anyone should share the enjoyment of their favourite sport, with friends and neighbours.

mtspace says:

Kinect for XBox patent to charge if too many people in room to watch

Microsoft recently filed for a patent that uses the Kinect to spy on you, and block movies from playing if there are too many people sitting in front of your TV. “The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken.”
The Xbox One features, by default, an always-on, works-in-the-dark, microphone and camera that’s constantly connected to the internet.

Mikey7a (profile) says:

The Big Game

What a superlative comment junglejim! As one of those guys who likes to watch a game, maybe two a week during football season, you know, we with our heads in the sand(I read about 3-4 hours of world news from different sources every day), ignoring our families(Miami Sports have been a family event for me since I was a kid, and am a retired Grand Dad now), I prefer to believe that as Progressive Americans, we can have some fun, with our Family, and yet, still care that The House and Senate are willing to shut down HOMELAND SECURITY, just to spite that awful Black guy in The White House! EZ where you cast those first stones ok?

Clayton Berry says:


Sure, if you’re a bar or a venue, this is against the law, but in a private home, DO IT. There is no cops going door to door on superbowl sunday, and asking you if you’ve got friends over watching the game on a tv bigger than 55″. So just do it, the law can’t be and won’t ever be enforced for PRIVATE home use. So do it anyway!

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