The Guide One Insurance article titled “Touchdown! How to Enjoy the Super Bowl Without Copyright Infringement” contains valuable information for churches that invite people out to watch the big game through a live broadcast. Having a group of friends come over to your house to watch the Super Bowl on TV is different from inviting people out to the church to see it. The article explains the rules that were “clarified” in 2009. The commercial nature of having a Super Bowl party at church has specific rules that need to be followed to avoid copyright infringements. Surprisingly, they seem to be very easy to follow.
The serious nature of violating copyrights should be considered by churches on at least two fronts. Firstly, it would be a sin to knowingly and willingly violate the law. Secondly, churches that are prosecuted for copyright infringement issues may end up paying hefty fines or worse. Those FBI warnings on DVDs are not just there for show. Though the NFL now has some seemingly simple rules to follow for churches wanting to throw parties and have people watch the game live, those same churches should also consider other potential copyright violations.
Just because a person owns a DVD of a movie does not mean it comes with a right to show it to an audience at church. It also does not matter if it is an audience of two or 2000. The same goes for using any other creative work. Photocopies of pages from a book, using images downloaded from the Internet, or even playing music from CDs are all subject to licensing rules that can vary greatly from one thing to the next. Continue reading “Church Super Bowl Parties and Other Copyright Infringements”