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Thread: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV screens

  1. #1
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV screens

    I believe if I was a church, as long as I wasn't charging admission, I'd do as planned and see if the NFL really wanted to sue a church for showing the SB on it's projection TV. I know the reasoning but IMHO it's too far reaching. But it's not my money....

    I know the NFL has to protect their copyright BUT they don't have to take a proactive stance like this with all the baring of teeth.


    Sorry, churches, the party's over
    NFL ban forces nationwide cancellations of Super Bowl events


    By Robert King
    robert.king@indystar.com

    At Indian Creek Christian Church on the Southeastside, church leaders yanked up banners that had been beckoning people to come to Sunday's "Super Bowl XLI Party."

    At Seymour's Cornerstone Ministry Center, church leaders began looking for something to do with the food they had planned to serve to football fans Sunday night.

    And at Green Valley Church of Christ in Noblesville, the church decided it would rather cancel its Super Bowl party than run the risk of running afoul of the NFL.

    In what might constitute a seismic shift in Super Bowl viewing habits, churches across the country started scrapping their party plans Thursday after the NFL warned anyone who violates federal copyright law -- churches included.

    The wave of party pooping started in Indianapolis with a report in Thursday's Indianapolis Star that the NFL told Fall Creek Baptist Church that its plans for a big-screen showing of the game were improper.

    By day's end, churches from Texas to Ohio were calling the newspaper to ask if the NFL's stance was firm. Told it was, they said they intended to end long-standing traditions of congregational Super Bowl parties.

    "I'm not sure quite what we're going to do," said Tamara Mayne, a member of Cypress United Methodist Church in Houston, which quashed its Super Bowl party Thursday.

    The issue facing churches across the country is their use of big-screen TVs to show the Super Bowl in what the NFL deems "mass out-of-home viewings."
    The NFL considers big gatherings -- whether in churches, movie theaters or casinos -- to be a huge no-no if the game is being shown on TV screens bigger than 55 inches wide or if the host charges admission to watch.
    Many churches, such as Fall Creek and others, had planned to use projectors to put the clash between the Colts and the Bears on walls and screens, some 12 feet wide or larger.

    But the NFL is being quick to point out that federal copyright law bans public exhibitions of NFL games on sets or screens larger than 55 inches. In other words, churches and other private groups can watch the game on smaller screens, but partying with a monster screen is taboo.
    Violators could, in an extreme case, be sued, although legal experts said juries might be hard-pressed to give the NFL a monetary verdict against a church.

    Still, copyright experts said the NFL's stance is grounded firmly in the law. "Legally, they do have a pretty strong case," said Marshall Leaffer, a professor at the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington.
    But while the NFL appears to be on solid legal footing, it has fallen on the field of public opinion. The Star received scores of calls and more than 600 comments on its Web site Thursday. More than 90 percent chided the NFL as the No Fun League, or worse.

    Adding fuel to the fire is the exception to the big-screen rule that the law and the NFL grants to sports bars and restaurants. Those businesses can show the games on big screens and multiple TVs because they show televised sports all year.

    Despite the scathing criticism, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello was unyielding Thursday when asked whether the league might cut the churches a break.
    "No," he said. "It's copyright law."

    Fall Creek's Rev. John D. Newland, who learned of his church's legal peril in a letter from the NFL, spent Thursday explaining his situation to media around the country. Lawyers from Louisiana even called, pledging to fight the good fight for him. But Newland said the church must comply.

    "I don't want to inspire anybody to break the law. . . . I think the law is antiquated and I think it needs to be addressed."

    At Castleton United Methodist Church, Joyce Hamon could hardly believe the NFL's position when she read it in The Star. "I'm almost flabbergasted," she said. By midmorning, her husband, the Rev. Mac Hamon, had pulled the plug on his church's party. "We just didn't want to take chances," she said.
    In Seymour, Cornerstone Ministry had put an ad in the local paper advertising a party that was to feature the game projected on a 12-foot screen, free snacks, drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as a halftime devotional on what it means to be a "super person."

    The Rev. Crawford Huff, who had been putting on church Super Bowl parties for 30 years, woke up to the news from Indianapolis, and by midday had decided to do away with a tried-and-true outreach tool.

    "We've got a lot of food to give away," Huff said, adding that the church has a biblical mandate to obey the laws of the land.
    "We want to be obedient."

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...OCAL/702020470
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  2. #2
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Holy crap. This is the dumbest **** I've read in a long time.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    This is God speaking!!!!

    There will be no praying allowed at the Super Bowl. That is all.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Quote Originally Posted by RWB View Post
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    This is God speaking!!!!

    There will be no praying allowed at the Super Bowl. That is all.
    And come to think of it I don't like that whole "Hail Mary" thing either. I know it works from time to time but please stop doing it. Thank you.

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    This is just stupid. The NFL isn't losing a dime over this. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    This is just stupid. The NFL isn't losing a dime over this. They should be ashamed of themselves.
    Actually they could potentially lose billions the next time the NFL broadcast rights are up. Seriously. I agree they should be ashamed of themselves, but they do have a valid reason for not wanting mass viewings.

    I'm with Bball. I'd do it anyway. Litigation against a church is a no win situation for the NFL. No matter how they argued their point, in the eyes of any judge or jury, they'd be the bad guy.

  7. #7
    Huge Member heywoode's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    The saddest thing is that it is okay for a BAR to do it because they perpetually do it by broadcasting sports year round. If I was a church, I would set a tv in a back room the day after the Super Bowl and broadcast sports (with no audience) all year and then go back to having their parties for the next Super Bowl.

    This situation should inspire some proactive talks about just what the spirit of the law is supposed to encompass. There has to be a way to protect the NFL copyright and not alienate and TURN AWAY fans from watching your product en masse.

    I have to agree that the NFL will end up with egg on it's face out of this situation, whether they are grounded in strong legal foundation or not. I suppose it isn't their place to say who can and can't break copyright law. After all, it is their product, not their law.

    Hard to decide how to feel about the NFL over this....



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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    But the NFL is being quick to point out that federal copyright law bans public exhibitions of NFL games on sets or screens larger than 55 inches.
    Anybody got an idea where this law can be found? If it was the Bible, I'd say "Show me chapter and verse" but in this case I'm saying "Show me in the Code of Federal Regulations. Dude is claiming it really says "larger than 55 inches" in some US Code somewhere?

    I also don't understand how the NFL could be hurt by people gathering and watching TV. People are still watching the commercials... in what way could the NFL be materially harmed by people getting together in a church to watch the game?
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    I can understand why the NFL is doing this. If 25% of the churches in the United States held viewing parties - that would hurt the TV ratings.

    Reason why it hurts the NFL is because they sell commercial time based uppon the TV ratings and if 10% of the country is gathering at churches - none of those 10% will count in the ratings and ad dollars would decrease by 10%

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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    This reminds me of the flap many years ago in Carmel about the Disney bar. The owner's name was Disney, but he found out that he couldn't name his bar Disney because somebody big owned the rights to use the name.

    I suspect all those banners you see around town saying "Go Colts" and a horseshoe are either in violation of some copyright or money was paid to the Colts to use either the name or the horseshoe.

    "Indy 500" same thing. Copyright law is pretty darned strict. In its zeal to protect, it also gets messy, convoluted, and fustrating.
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Well, there is a reason they call it the "No Fun League". While overall the league is well run, they have never acknowledged the "spirit" or anything, much less the law.

    I mean, really, what did you expect from the NFL?

    I'm surprised that people are surprised about this. This is the league that will fine you 10 grand because you wore the wrong socks to a game. They are tenacious in protecting their product, and of course that extends to television revenue.

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Well, the NFL has backed off, and will now allow churches to have parties as long as they don't charge:

    http://worldnetdaily.com/news/articl...TICLE_ID=54081
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    So is this going to ban all Casinos here in VEgas of showing the SuperBowl? The NFL can ***** all they want but, by law on CABLE t.v you can view as you please.

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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Anybody got an idea where this law can be found? If it was the Bible, I'd say "Show me chapter and verse" but in this case I'm saying "Show me in the Code of Federal Regulations. Dude is claiming it really says "larger than 55 inches" in some US Code somewhere?

    I also don't understand how the NFL could be hurt by people gathering and watching TV. People are still watching the commercials... in what way could the NFL be materially harmed by people getting together in a church to watch the game?
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/ht...0----000-.html

    Read Section 5.

    Won't they have to update this with the technology? 55 inches is small by most widescreen/HD standards today, eh?

  15. #15
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Well, the NFL has backed off, and will now allow churches to have parties as long as they don't charge:

    http://worldnetdaily.com/news/articl...TICLE_ID=54081
    I think technically the 55" restriction is still in place but they've done what they should've done in the first place. What they've now issued is something that serves as a warning to protect their copyright issues but is non-descript and warm and fuzzy enough to not scare churches away from their planned parties... whether in technical violation or not.

    This one is more of a generic "Don't violate any copyright laws and enjoy the game" warning. They aren't exactly spelling out the issue to a "T" (which is what they did when I spoke of the teeth baring).

    If someone called them (NFL) and said "We're showing the Superbowl on our 100" projector screen and we don't care what you think about" then they would be forced to act or risk their copyright.

    But they don't have to proactively go after things that would otherwise be flying under the radar to them.

    -Bball
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    As a Christian, I had more of a problem with the churches knowingly violating the law than with the NFL having to say something about it. Just because you don't agree with the law doesn't mean you don't have to obey it. What if a church has their gathering, and then gains members because of it? They didn't charge people to attend, but they do gain in the bank later if they gian members.

    This law is in the same vein that schools and day care centers have to pay rights fees to show copyrighted movies and shows. Without the paperwork they can be sued. Churches shouldn't be held to a different standard.

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Quote Originally Posted by SycamoreKen View Post
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    As a Christian, I had more of a problem with the churches knowingly violating the law than with the NFL having to say something about it. Just because you don't agree with the law doesn't mean you don't have to obey it. What if a church has their gathering, and then gains members because of it? They didn't charge people to attend, but they do gain in the bank later if they gian members.
    This is part of what I was getting at with the way the NFL took such a proactive stance in their first shot. I don't think churches are violating the spirit of the law by having a Superbowl party. So throwing it in their face with details put them in a rather tight position morally. If the NFL would've just said: As long as the church doesn't violate copyright law, doesn't charge admission, then enjoy the game (which is what they've essentially done now) then most churches would've went ahead happy as a clam with no moral issue or thoughts they they were violating copyright laws by using their house sound system and larger than 55" TV.

    And the NFL would've been covered technically because they would've said "Don't violate copyright law" even tho they did it in a wink and nod method that they knew most laymen would have no idea the number of speakers or size of TV screen was a technical violation.

    I'm not particularly concerned, and I don't think the NFL should be either, with any 'future' monetary gains a church would make in getting some new members to join their congregation due to a Superbowl party. How does THAT hurt the NFL? (On a side note: I wonder how much the Superbowl hurts churches by lowering attendance on Super Sunday?)

    The only legitimate concern I can think of is these gatherings lowering the ratings. And I'm sure a formula could be devised to work that out in some form or the other. Plus, are these gathering really going to make a dent in the ratings?

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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    This is part of what I was getting at with the way the NFL took such a proactive stance in their first shot. I don't think churches are violating the spirit of the law by having a Superbowl party. So throwing it in their face with details put them in a rather tight position morally. If the NFL would've just said: As long as the church doesn't violate copyright law, doesn't charge admission, then enjoy the game (which is what they've essentially done now) then most churches would've went ahead happy as a clam with no moral issue or thoughts they they were violating copyright laws by using their house sound system and larger than 55" TV.

    And the NFL would've been covered technically because they would've said "Don't violate copyright law" even tho they did it in a wink and nod method that they knew most laymen would have no idea the number of speakers or size of TV screen was a technical violation.

    I'm not particularly concerned, and I don't think the NFL should be either, with any 'future' monetary gains a church would make in getting some new members to join their congregation due to a Superbowl party. How does THAT hurt the NFL? (On a side note: I wonder how much the Superbowl hurts churches by lowering attendance on Super Sunday?)

    The only legitimate concern I can think of is these gatherings lowering the ratings. And I'm sure a formula could be devised to work that out in some form or the other. Plus, are these gathering really going to make a dent in the ratings?

    -Bball
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  19. #19
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: First no tailgating... Now: Churches told no Super Bowl allowed on their TV scree

    I don't have a really well-thought-out position on this, but my gut-level Christian response is that I should always follow the law unless I'm actually trying to break it. In other words, while I agree in principle that Christians should try to follow the law, I allow for special circumstances where people say "This is a bad law, and we shouldn't follow it." I mean, it's Black History Month. That's most of what the Civil Rights Movement was about.

    Now equal rights isn't the same playing field as copy rights, but it's still the same principle. And that's what one of the churches has done: said "This is a bad law, and we're going to disobey knowing that you can come after us."

    I actually consider a good bit of the United States copyright law to be morally bad, and so I don't have a problem, in theory, with saying "stick it" to the NFL. The church is clearly within their fair use rights. But that's another discussion.
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