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Television The Courts

Will Your Super Bowl Party Anger the Copyright Gods? 560

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-many-weekend-lawyers dept.
garg0yle writes "According to some folks, watching the Super Bowl on a television bigger than 55 inches is illegal. Is this true? Yes and no — long story short, if you're in a private residence you're probably okay, but if you're running a sports bar you may technically have to negotiate a license with the NFL. Just don't charge for food, or call it a 'Super Bowl' party, since the term itself is copyright."
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Will Your Super Bowl Party Anger the Copyright Gods?

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  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by eihab (823648) * on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:11PM (#30984880)

    We talked about this two years ago [slashdot.org]. Copyright still sucks, nothing new here.

    P.S.: Amazingly, that was on February, 2nd 2008. I wonder if we will be talking about Yahoo considering an alliance with Google [slashdot.org] tomorrow!

    • Re:Old news (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:34PM (#30985244)

      I'm having a Super Bowl Birthday Party.

      I'm using my 60" TV and inviting 40 people.
      We'll all sing Happy Birthday Super Bowl (slightly late).
      I'm serving home-made McNuggets and KFC style fried chicken.
      I'll be charging for food.
      I'm using a HD PVR to record and re-broadcast it over my open WiFi hotspot.
      I'm also streaming it live over the internet to anyone who wants to watch.

      oh.. what was TFA about?

      • Re:Old news (Score:4, Informative)

        by v1 (525388) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:45PM (#30985426) Homepage Journal

        I'm also streaming it live over the internet to anyone who wants to watch.

        I advise you to also time shift it and remove the commercials. All but the "superbowl commercials" of course.

        • Re:Old news (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:59PM (#30985704)

          Thanks for the advice but I think I'm going to replace the commercials with my own making sure to
          add "official sponsor of the Super Bowl" plastered all over it.

          If I combine 7 cover versions of one song and get each channel on my 7.1 sound system to play one
          would that violate all 7 copyrights at the same time?

    • Re:Old news (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kpau (621891) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:35PM (#30985262)
      Sometimes I think it will be the NFL that finally breaks the camel's back of copyright mutation rather than the MPAA/RIAA idiots. The NFL takes the farce of "intellectual property" to such absurd levels that even congressmen might be able to see the lack of clothing.
      • Re:Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:46PM (#30985456) Journal

        To be fair, it does make sense for NFL. The summary is little bit bad worded, but you are perfectly fine to watch it at home with friends, on any size TV, as long as isn't considered public place like a sports bar, church or workplace and you do not explicitly charge for viewing the game. You can however ask for compensation on foods and drinks.

        I don't think it's that hard to see what is considered a home and a public gathering place. It's not that stupid for NFL (or any other sports league or movie studio) to ask for compensation if their content is being shown on a public place to many people and they're profiting from it.

        • Re:Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:52PM (#30985576)
          You've got to be kidding me!

          You pay your cable bill and you watch the advertisements, don't you?

          If I want to have people over and charge them to watch my TV, its not the NFL's business. Now, if the NFL wants to buy me a TV and a house to watch the Superbowl©, then I'll let them restrict who may enter my home, and at what price.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by snowraver1 (1052510)
            Is everyone so cheap that they charge money when they invite people over to their house?
            • Re:Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:04PM (#30985818)
              Not the point. The Superbowl is free, but PPV fights are not, and can run a lot of money. If I were to host a fight, Splitting $100 fight over 5 people is better than paying it myself.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by sopssa (1498795) *

                You have a point, and splitting the cost like that is actually allowed where I live (as long as its happening at ones home) But if you have a bar and ask people to pay to see that match, it's a different business.

                I quickly looked over the prices for cable channels (don't have PPV events here), and the prices per channel are
                20 euros for home,
                45 euros for public places like malls (people can walk in freely),
                13 euros for workplaces, schools and such.

                For public places that cost to walk in, like bars/restaurants

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by c0d3g33k (102699)
                  Good lord, it's depressing how completely corporations have people brainwashed.

                  you're using other peoples entertainment content to create a nicer place, which in turn creates you income.

                  No, you're using entertainment you *paid for* in a way that suits you. No different than buying a carpet to put on the floor to create a nicer place. That particular instantiation of the carpet design (which isn't yours) is yours by right of purchase. Nobody gets to tell you who can walk on it, admire it while doing whatever it is people are doing in the nice place. They can't even tell you that are not allowed to charge peop

                  • Re:Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

                    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:24PM (#30987232) Journal

                    Good lord, it's depressing how completely corporations have people brainwashed.

                    you're using other peoples entertainment content to create a nicer place, which in turn creates you income.

                    No, you're using entertainment you *paid for* in a way that suits you.

                    ....

                    * And don't start talking about how "it's licensed, not bought" either. Try to tell someone the carpet they bought is "licensed, not bought" and see if you can finish talking before they start laughing and throw you off of their "purchased, not licensed" property.

                    No but I can give you another example. If you're living on rent, you're not allowed to do just anything you want to the apartment. You need to ask your landlord if its acceptable, and he will probably make sure it's done correctly, or if he doesn't like it, he will deny you from doing it.

                    Now try to still do your "I'm gonna open this wall and break windows" thing and then tell in court that "but I was just using what I *paid for* in a way that suited me".

                    Now if you actually bought the apartment, things are different and you can decide yourself. Otherwise you're getting it at certain rules and you have to follow them.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by Artifakt (700173)

                      It's an OK analogy as far as it goes, but...

                      In most locations, renters do have some codified rights that limit what the landlord can do. Those rights are legal under the constitution for states or municipalities to set.

                      For copyright, there are some normal rights (fair use) that have not been formally codified enough and so don't really offer protection. There are other rights (first sale), that can't be protected by states or smaller locales any more because the Supreme court has held all copyright related

        • No, it is stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gr8_phk (621180) on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:08PM (#30986972)

          It's not that stupid for NFL (or any other sports league or movie studio) to ask for compensation if their content is being shown on a public place to many people and they're profiting from it.

          The event is broadcast over the air (almost) everywhere in the US. Anyone can watch it if they have a TV and an antenna. The NFL gets paid from advertisers, not viewers. It's really not clear why someone should be punished for making a public broadcast publicly viewable. One could even argue that superbowl parties increase the number of viewers (it's more fun in a crowd), and in fact each person who watches makes the advertising that much more valuable. You really can't put you "content" out there publicly (over the air) and then bitch about who sees it where.

      • Re:Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:52PM (#30985564)

        I hope so.

        The HDMI handshaking makes the audio drop intermittently on my new TV when combined with my new HD PVR from my cable company. Pirated content plays flawlessly over the same HDMI connections.

        On the upside, it is going to save me a ton of cash, since all I'll have to buy is a bigger HDD for my Linux box and a media player.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timster (32400)

        I don't know, this one might strike people as weird, but I'm not so sure.

        If you had the idea to start up a $1 movie theater for profit, it sure would be nice if you could buy a $30 blu-ray version of a recent movie and show it to hundreds of people, but I don't see it as some huge injustice that this isn't legal. There really is a difference between watching something in your home, with friends, etc and a for-profit public performance. (And you can bet that the lawyers would be all over a theater that tri

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by schon (31600)

        The NFL takes the farce of "intellectual property" to such absurd levels that even congressmen might be able to see the lack of clothing.

        It is impossible for a man to understand something when his livelihood depends on him not understanding it.

        A congressman gets money (and hence livelihood) from corporations like the NFL, so there's no way in hell they'll see it as anything other than truth and honesty.

      • Re:Old news (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:09PM (#30985926) Homepage

        The thing is, I dare the super-bowl to try and attack some of the clients I helped set up a super-bowl party for. One is a big time lawyer who will have 2 150" screens and 5 62" plasmas all blasting the game for his 100 guests. He's a lawyer for a firm that will eat the NFL for lunch and crap in their cheerios.

        I honestly will gladly allow them to copyright the hell out of it IF they play in arenas that were not built by any public funds. Otherwise everything NFL must be Public domain.

        • Re:Old news (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@hotmail3.14.com minus pi> on Monday February 01, 2010 @05:07PM (#30986932) Journal

          I honestly will gladly allow them to copyright the hell out of it IF they play in arenas that were not built by any public funds. Otherwise everything NFL must be Public domain.

          You want to be careful with that sort of restriction. In the interest of fairness, everything that you produce should be in the public domain as well -- unless you've never used electricity from a utility company which received public grants or subsidies for construction, you've never used public roads, public transportation, or public sidewalks to get to work, and you've never used the United States Postal Service.

          Your work is subsidized in many ways by government funds, some subtle, some conspicuous. Principled stands can have some very surprising consequences.

      • Re:Old news (Score:4, Insightful)

        by canajin56 (660655) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:22PM (#30986156)

        I don't think it's nearly as absurd as RIAA shenanigans. It really boils down to the argument over whether or not a game of football can be copyrighted. Certainly, the commentary should be, but that's the network's, not the NFLs. The game itself? I don't think so, but I'm not an expert. If you allow that the game footage is the copyright of the NFL, then their behavior (in this instance) is reasonable, or at least, follows a reasonable interpretation of existing laws (even if you might view said laws themselves as unreasonable). Copyright has a concept of "public performances", which are the exclusive right of the copyright holder. Historically, this has been quite important. Say you're a playwright. You mail out your play to producers, hoping one of them picks it up. Now, without the exclusive right to public performances, that producer could take the four copies you mailed him, and the dozen you slipped under his door and into his mail box and under his windshield wipers, hand them out to actors, and put the play on without paying the author a dime. In terms of encouraging playwrights to write, this is quite the undesirable outcome!

        On the other hand, perhaps interpreting showing a TV program or movie as a "public performance" in the same sense that putting on a play is, is taking it too far. I suppose just putting a DVD in a machine is easier than putting together a play from a script, so it may make sense to treat it as at least as bad. But alternately, the purpose of the manuscript is to be put on, and earn the writer money from that performance. The purpose of a DVD is to be sold and watched, and it was sold and now you and some other people are watching it, so perhaps it's not really the same thing at all. After all, if it's legal to buy a DVD, then rent it to 10 people for $1 each, it should be equally legal to show it to 10 people in your living room for $1 each. And yes, though the studios want it changed very badly, rental is explicitly allowed under the doctrine of first sale, being a temporary change of possession, not a public performance.

        The only way to fix this perceived imbalance, without breaking other things, would be to do away with public performance rights as a special case. I think writers would still be just as protected, as long as you establish concretely that any movie/play/whatever based on a script is categorically a derivative work, and therefore a copyright violation if not properly licensed. But on the other hand, if you own a DVD, you can play it, period. This, however, requires new laws. Without new laws, the NFL's policy is in line with the law. They're even somewhat fair about it, in the sense that sports bars do not have to pay to have TVs in them, unless they are so large as to be considered the primary attraction of the bar, rather than simply a bonus.

        Either way, TFA is just FUD. If you aren't a public performance, you can't run afoul of copyright law. No matter how many buddies you invite over, and no matter that you charge them for your beer, it's not a public performance, because it's a private showing still. The nonsense about "you can't call it a Super Bowl party because that's trademarked" is quite stupid, but no more stupid than any other corporation going overboard defending their trademarks. Intel suing prison programs because they use "inside" to refer to those in prison, and Intel owns "Noun Inside"? I'd say the Super Bowl BS is demonstrably less retarded, as at least these parties are actually using the trademarked term, even if using a trademark to refer to the actual trademarked item is supposed to be allowed!

  • Your Honor... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by headkase (533448) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:12PM (#30984902)
    They are being idiots, please restore some sanity.
    • Re:Your Honor... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by exabrial (818005) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:14PM (#30984928)
      A better choice, for a myriad of reasons, is to not vote for an incumbent this November.

      I can dream.
      • by paiute (550198) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:51PM (#30985556)

        Old political truism: Every Congressman is a pork-seeking self-centered bought-and-paid-for idiot. Except for my representative. He's okay.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Except in my case. All my reps suck. One republican congressman, one republican senator, one democratic senator... all corporate sycophants.

    • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:27PM (#30985134)
      Face it, the NFL are brilliant. They are not about football. They are about revenue. They had two goals in mind when setting out on their broadcasting endeavor:

      a) Sell high-cost adspace
      b) Get people to care about the adspace

      Now you hear people always saying "I watch the superbowl for the commercials!" Mission A-Ccomplished NFL. Was that enough? It's never enough. So the last 10 years have been their attempt to make more money by becoming some of the biggest douchebags in the IP industry.

      "That's the thing about greed, Arch, it's blind. And it doesn't know when to stop" -- Lenny Cole
  • who dat (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:13PM (#30984910)
    so being in New Orleans, I'll have a "Who Dat" Party ... oh wait... "© Dat" Party. http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/01/vitter_to_nfl_back_of_who_dat.html [nola.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:13PM (#30984912)

    ...call it a 'Super Bowl' party, since the term itself is copyright.

    Summary fail. Perhaps you mean trademark?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hedwards (940851)
      Which is completely unenforceable, since you're allowed to use trademarks for the purpose of referring to the item. Meaning that they might get upset about you calling it a "Super Bowl party" but if you have a party where you watch the "Super Bowl" there isn't really anything they can do about it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Which is completely unenforceable, since you're allowed to use trademarks for the purpose of referring to the item. Meaning that they might get upset about you calling it a "Super Bowl party" but if you have a party where you watch the "Super Bowl" there isn't really anything they can do about it.

        It may be unenforceable, but the NFL has been making a lot of noise about this for some time. They seem to count on the fact that a lot of small businesses will just cow-tow to them after a phone call from a lawyer.

        I noticed in our local newspaper yesterday there was an ad from a sports bar - the phrase "Super Bowl" was nowhere to be seen. The biggest text was "Come watch the Big Game with us!", and some other text referred to their "Big Game Party".

  • God (Score:2, Funny)

    by killmenow (184444)

    I hope so.

  • Trademark (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:15PM (#30984940)

    Just don't charge for food, or call it a 'Super Bowl' party, since the term itself is copyright.

    You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • The term itself...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:15PM (#30984942)

    Just don't charge for food, or call it a 'Super Bowl' party, since the term itself is copyright."

    I'd like to hear a lawyer stand up and say that with a straight face. Trademarked? Possibly. Copyright? Not likely. And even it was a registered mark, I fail to see what food has to do with anything, or how it would be actionable unless the rightsholder is organising similar events that might be confused with whatever private viewing we're talking about here.

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:22PM (#30985052)
      I do know that a couple of years ago, media organizations stopped referring to events they were sponsoring as "Super Bowl Random Event" but instead started to refer to them as "Big Game Random Event". Frequently they would make a point about not being able to use Super Bowl to refer to the event because of licensing issues with the NFL. At the time I thought that the NFL was shooting themselves in the foot. What makes the Super Bowl such a big money maker for them is its cultural ubiquity in the U.S.. If there are not a lot of events planned around the game, people will pay less attention to the game. If too many of the events planned around the game are "Big Game" events rather than "Super Bowl" events, it will diminish the value of the words "Super Bowl".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      when you start charging for food, you move from being a collection of friends to a sport bar, and sports bars don't get fair use.

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        You can ask a "charge" for food

        Okay, not completely. You cannot make a "direct charge" to "see or hear the transmission," though you can apparently ask friends to cover the cost of food and drink. You also cannot further transmit the broadcast "to the public," so diverting a live video stream onto the Internet and streaming it to the world is right out. Otherwise, you're fine.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by JNSL (1472357)

        when you start charging for food, you move from being a collection of friends to a sport bar, and sports bars don't get fair use.

        This is wrong. In a lot of ways.

        First, as has been said many times in these comments already, we're dealing with TM when using the term "Superbowl" and copyright when we dealing with showing it on TV. Though you probably don't know it, and besides the fact that a bar would also have to serve alcohol, the statutory exception you're referring to is an exception to the copyright rights. Certain kinds of establishments are allowed to violate the holder's copyright (and here I mean the prima facie violation o

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:24PM (#30985090) Homepage Journal

      http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2010/02/halftime-who-dat-whos-greedy-the-nfl/1 [usatoday.com]

      You missed the one important part, anywhere there is money involved there will be claims. The NFL is claiming ownership of a fan derived saying, let alone one where most of it has been part of the dialect

      Never under estimate money, lawyers, and stupidity, combined.

    • by tsalmark (1265778) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:32PM (#30985212) Homepage
      My Bowl Party is going to be Super. so I'm having a Super "Bowl Party" not a "Super Bowl" Party. Entertainment Lawyers can go-for-a-Coffee as far as I'm concerned.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:18PM (#30984978) Journal

    This is news for nerds, remember?

  • by jomegat (706411) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:19PM (#30984998)
    Can I call it a Superb Owl party?
  • by cstec (521534) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:20PM (#30985002)
    We won't be watching. On any TV.
    • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:51PM (#30985540)

      Only 11 minutes of a 185 minute NFL broadcast include actual play [wsj.com]

      So you're not missing out on any action, trust me. :)

  • Just turn the sound off.
    You have to love and clauses that allow one simple variance to void the whole thing.

  • by jnaujok (804613) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:29PM (#30985184) Homepage Journal

    You see, I'm having a party where I'll be serving soup.

    It will be served in my wife's favorite dishware.

    And my son will be serving it when I tell him to.

    It will start during the daylight hours.

    So I told all my friends to come over for a "Soup her bowl, Son - Day Party".

  • Watching television may become illegal completely some day. Is that a bad thing?

    That's debatable.

  • RTFA, submitter (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:33PM (#30985232)

    From the summary:

    Just don't charge for food, or call it a 'Super Bowl' party, since the term itself is copyright.

    The article directly contradicts both of those claims.

    It's one thing to comment without RTFA, but to submit without RTFA takes a special kind of stupid.

  • This is madness. Someone is going to have stop this, or it is going to mean the end of TV.

  • This is why you should use a projector on a moveable screen, mark the 54" spot on the floor, and then allow some douche to move the screen to the 150" mark so you can claim plausible deniability.
  • Doubtful... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:36PM (#30985286) Homepage

    ...my Super Bowl party is going to involve games of Chez Geek, Hero Quest, and a Civ 4 LAN.

    Anything remotely related to Football is banned.

  • Who dat screwing with my big TV?
  • by Grond (15515) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:38PM (#30985306) Homepage

    Just don't...call it a 'Super Bowl' party, since the term itself is copyright.

    The term is not copyrighted. The term is trademarked.

    The trademark status has advantages and disadvantages. Since it's been registered and in use for at least 5 years (since 1969 in fact), the trademark is much harder to invalidate, per 15 USC 1065 [cornell.edu]. Unlike copyrights, trademarks really do last forever, given proper maintenance (yes, I realize that copyrights practically last forever too, but there are trademarks that are centuries old).

    Some of the disadvantages of a trademark are that the remedies are weaker (no statutory damages) and the trademark holder must police the mark. You can't license it to just anybody. You have to maintain some control over the licensed good or service, typically in the form of quality standards. You also have to go after potential infringers. Failure to do so can lead to losing the mark.

    It's that last requirement that is driving the NFL's actions here (well, that and the money to be made). Whether the law in fact requires them to be as strict about it as they are is another question, one that very few people on Slashdot are really competent to answer. Whether the law should require them to be so strict, however, is a different question and one that most of us probably agree on the answer to.

    As a side note, footage of individual games is copyrighted. The NFL argues that footage of the game is licensed only for private viewing and not for commercial viewing, which is how they go after sports bars and the like. I would argue that if you put your game on the public airwaves, it should be fair game for live viewing. If they want to enter into a more restrictive license with the viewer they should put the game on pay per view, a premium channel, or a cable channel at the very least.

    • by Nadaka (224565) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:51PM (#30985530)

      It could be worse. They could be claiming a trademark an a symbol that is thousands of years old and has been iconic and representative of a house of nobles, a city founded under their reign and an entire culture for several hundred years or the symbol of a major social organization or perhaps even an official state symbol... Oh wait, they ARE. Several restaurants in New Orleans have been sued for trademark infringement by the NFL over the use of the Fleur De' Lis, a symbol that some of them have been since before the NFL existed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SecurityGuy (217807)

      The NFL argues that footage of the game is licensed onlyThe NFL argues that footage of the game is licensed only

      Aye, there's the rub. I haven't licensed a darned thing from the NFL, ever. We need to entirely do away with BS "licensing" like "by viewing this web site...". No, sorry, I agree to your terms by signing a contract, period. I don't agree to your terms by viewing a web site, watching a TV, rubbing my nose, or yelling Yabba Dabba Do. The very notion that I agreed to 34 pages of legalese by doin

  • Who cares about Super Bowl, it is no longer the single most watched sports event :)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/football/3280912/Champions-League-final-tops-Super-Bowl-in-TV [stuff.co.nz]

  • "Will Your Super Bowl Party Anger the Copyright Gods?" They're hardly gods; a more precise term would be "demons" or "devils".

    The bar I go to has two TVs, if they show it on the big one they'll be in violation. TFA doesn't say what happens if you give food away, as the one mentioned will (regular readers of my journal will know the name of the bar). If I remember correctly, Sanmy's Sports Bar downtown doesn't have any screens smaller than 55 inches. It seems ironic that a sports bar can't show sports! And e

  • you need a license from the NFL to call it the Super Bowl. If you haven't noticed most of the TV commercials call it The Big Game because they don't want to pay royalties to the NFL

    since /. takes advertising i'm going to report this evil website so the NFL can sue you out of existance. you just cost them eleventy billion $$$$ in lost sales

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:44PM (#30985402) Homepage Journal

    A church advertised a Super Bowl party, in which they weren't charging a dime to attend. It didn't stop the NFL lawyers from descending.

    All major leagues also have the statement that not only can you not rebroadcast, but you can't disseminate or report on the game without their written, express consent.

    You apparently don't have the right to talk about the game. Way to be fan-friendly.

  • Who Cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bkr1_2k (237627) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:47PM (#30985482)

    Honestly, who gives a shit? The simple solution is stop supporting some industry that will try to sue you for being a patron.

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:21PM (#30986136) Journal

      These things end the same every time and rarely have any kind of interesting twist.

      In fact, they're composed of smaller units which are similar to the larger. This Menger Sponge of entertainment can claim an average of only 17 minutes of actual action in an event that ostensibly takes one hour yet occupies an entire afternoon to stage.

      It's the ultimate in mass-produced manufactured entertainment. I can't understand why it's still so popular.

  • Commercials? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RobVB (1566105) on Monday February 01, 2010 @03:51PM (#30985548)

    Don't they make their money off commercials? Why should someone have to pay for having people over to watch those commercials? I think sports bars are much less likely to change channels during commercials to catch 3 minutes of Family Guy, so their advertisements will be more effective than in many private homes.

    I think a reasonable arrangement would be if you had to report it to the NFL, saying "I'll be having an NFL party in a bar that can have 80 people inside", so the NFL can use those numbers to get more money from their advertisers. If anything, they should be paying YOU.

  • I hope it does. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jitterman (987991) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:09PM (#30985930)
    How absurd, selfish, and blind are these people?

    NFL Fan: "Hey, Joe's Pub has a 60" TV, and they're going to have the Big Game on. Sweet! Ten friends and I are gonna have a great time there!"

    NFL Management: "Alert! Fans watching our games in public without our express written consent. We've clearly just lost MILLIONS in revenue because of this. If only our viewers understood the logic of... uh, ummm, ah... Hey, why DO we prohibit this? It brings people together to enjoy our product, stimulates the economy by bringing patrons to bars and casual dining restaurants, and generally helps promote what we do without costing us anything in advertising expenses."

    NFL Lawyer: "So I can have a job."
  • An Alternative (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AP31R0N (723649) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:20PM (#30986106)

    [rant]
    Instead of passively witnessing multimillionaire drug addicts chase a ball to sell ad space... do something. Take the people who were going to show up for "da big game" outside to play tag football. Have a foosball championship. Play card games. Have a LAN party. Play DnD. Do something.

    The outcome of the game will be the same whether you watch it or not.

    Whatever teams are playing this year are branches of a company. Do you care which 7-11 sold the most hotdogs? Or if the Pepsi bottling plant on the east coast produced more soda than the west coast plant? Even if it is your home team, the players aren't from your town. They're employees shuffled around or chasing contracts. At least the local high school games have some attachment to you.

    Go ahead and mod me troll or flambait if i've hurt your feelings and doing something to me will make you feel better about how you've spent your Sundays. Just take a moment to consider *doing* something instead of watching others. And if the team you cheered for won... don't say "we won". If you didn't leave a drop of blood or sweat on the field... you were not a part of that victory. You're a witness, that's it. Watching something someone else did is not an accomplishment and no reason to be proud. The team won. You watched.
    [/rant]

    • Re:An Alternative (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Brian_Ellenberger (308720) on Monday February 01, 2010 @04:59PM (#30986814)

      [rant] Instead of passively witnessing multimillionaire drug addicts chase a ball to sell ad space... do something. Take the people who were going to show up for "da big game" outside to play tag football. Have a foosball championship. [/rant]

      What, wasting your valuable time playing a meaningless trivial thing like foosball instead of doing something productive with your time like reading and discussing Joyce's Ulysses?

      Believe or not, I love computer programming AND sports. And you are ignorant if you think sports is just a passive mindless activity. Sports works on multiple levels. First it is a social activity--an excuse for people to get together to enjoy each others company---not really that different from a foosball tournament or a card game or going to a movie. Most of the enjoyment of a card game is not the card game itself--it is socializing with others. Same with sports.

      Second, for a true sports fan the sport is more than just a passive activity. Fans analyze and appreciate the nuances of tactics, strategy, and individual skill throughout the game. The reason that sports people are unfamiliar with are "boring" is they don't see and are not aware of the details. Baseball is a very boring sport, unless you understand the pitcher/batter matchup. Then it is very exciting. Knowing what pitches the pitcher throws, how well they throw them, what the batters strengths and weakness are. The situation with who is on base, what the score is, how tired the pitcher is, etc. Same with football (ie soccer) or American football or any sport. The defensive alignment of an American football team, the offensive execution of a basketball team, the trap play of a hockey team. For a fan, much of the fun is trying to predict what will happen and watching it play out.

      Then, much like the Olympics, there is the sheer amazing in watching what the human body can do. To perform an athletic feat that is seemingly impossible.

      Finally, with things like fantasy football, there is a sort of meta-level game that you are apart of.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by night_flyer (453866)

      The outcome of the game will be the same whether you watch it or not.

      I guess that means you don't waste your time with things like movies, books, plays, concerts...

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen

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