Saturday, February 02, 2008

NFL to Churches: No Superbowl for your HD Sets

Last year, the NFL backed down after trying to enforce a ban on churches having NFL gatherings because of a ban on public showings of over 55 inches. This year they have lost any squeamishness and is forcing churchgoers into bars to watch the big game on big screns.

The NFL said, however, that the copyright law on its games is long-standing and the language read at the end of each game is well known: "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited."

The league bans public exhibitions of its games on TV sets or screens larger than 55 inches because smaller sets limit the audience size. The section of federal copyright law giving the NFL protection over the content of its programming exempts sports bars, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
Copyright is supposed to exist to ensure that owners of creative content can benefit from their work, and thus have incentive to produce more content. This kind of action simply penalizes the public at the whim of big business. This is sure to produce a backlash at some point.

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