Church Super Bowl Parties and Other Copyright Infringements

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”

Super Bowl XLV Problems

Being from southwestern Pennsylvania we are Steeler fans. That is to put it mildly. The fans who couldn’t get into the Super Bowl who had tickets was just wrong. Of course there is going to be a problem when fans are sold tickets for seats that do not yet exist. The powers that be apparently hoped that the seats would be installed before game time but they weren’t. A tiny disclaimer on the back of the Super Bowl ticket warns that one may not get the seat they bought. That would be an understatement.

The NFL and others who claim responsibility for the seats that tickets were sold, but where no seat was actually physically installed, have agreed to provide different things to appease the insulted and disgusted fans. Everything from three times the face value of the tickets to tickets to next year’s Super Bowl have been offered.

Three times face value is not enough for someone who bought plane tickets, booked a room, lost vacation time at work, paid more than face value for their ticket for a chance of a lifetime, and who had the expected experience of the Super Bowl denied them. However, my wife has come up with a great idea that might be appealing to the fans who flew across the country to not have a seat at the game.

My wife suggested that the actual Super Bowl expenses be covered and the league also plan a get-together for the fans to have a day with their team. Okay, maybe not the whole team, but the fan favorites. Pay for their flights and rooms. Have the event at an undisclosed location with limited media access. After all, this one will be all about the fans. The players will volunteer their day and evening. The fans get a dinner with the players, a meet-and-greet, and for once, a no hassle chance at autographs.

The league, players, stadium and others involved that permitted the fiasco to occur need to step up and do the right thing. Hey, I don’t have a problem that my wife and I won’t be invited. We weren’t going to the Super Bowl anyway. We don’t have that kind of money. The fans that did try to make it out to support the Steelers and the Packers need to have the NFL and all involved make it right by the fans who did not have seats to go with their Super Bowl tickets. It’s only a few hundred fans. It’s not that hard of a thing to pull off.

I tell you what, my wife and I volunteer to bring warm towels for the players who get a cramp signing autographs at the makeup event for the fans who got turned away at the Super Bowl. This is a multi-billion dollar business. Who do the NFL and the players think are the ones that pays for all of it? It’s us—the ones who go to games, buy NFL products, and are patrons of the sponsors. Do the right thing.