View Full Version : Quit crying NFL.

02-03-2007, 11:34 AM

What is it with sports leagues and their desire to limit how their fans can enjoy the game? There's Major League Baseball, who keeps trying to insist that they own the facts related to a game (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060628/0156200.shtml), and no one can use them without paying MLB (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20031023/2314232_F.shtml) first. Then, there's the NFL, who freaked out about TiVo (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20040802/0059203.shtml) and also tried to ban any broadcasters from using "unauthorized" video feeds (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060919/125031.shtml) to show what happens in the stadium (i.e., no sideline cameras any more). They've been particularly fussy about the Super Bowl, however, forcing advertisers to call it "the Big Game" (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060202/1239257.shtml) or whatever, claiming excessive control over the trademark (remember, trademarks are really designed to prevent consumer confusion, not to give holders full control over the mark).

The latest situation is perhaps even more bizarre -- but tragically, seems to fall closer to a correct legal reading of a really poorly written law. The NFL apparently nastygrammed a church for planning to host a Super Bowl party. The original complaint was first that the church was charging people, but also that they used the term "Super Bowl" (as if people would somehow believe that the church was associated with the NFL?). After the church agreed to let people in for free and not use the term, the NFL continued to complain, saying that showing the Super Bowl on a screen larger than 55 inches represents copyright infringement (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/football/nfl/specials/playoffs/2006/02/01/bc.fbn.superbowl.church.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories). While we, at first, doubted the reality of this, Ben Austro sent in the fact that it is, indeed, spelled out in copyright law (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000110----000-.html) that once you get above 55", you may be talking about a "public performance," though, as Ben notes, the wording sounds like it was clearly written by a lobbyist.

This is getting out of hand.

02-03-2007, 06:10 PM
yeah this rubbed me wrong too.

Although on the flip side, I am glad I saw this... because now I can brag about having a public performance in my house when I pull my projector back a few more feet to get more than 55 inches showing.

02-03-2007, 08:44 PM
Sooo, my 62 inch flat screen with the guys over constitutes a public showing? Guess I had better just go down to the cop shop and turn myself in. I wonder how many years of hard time I will get?

02-03-2007, 08:50 PM
all about greed ...what in hades does it matter? one person watching it or 50 ....NFL is getting paid alot to have companies put their commercials on it.. what do they care and why?

02-03-2007, 08:58 PM
Damn, I guess my dad better cancel our annual Super Bowl party at my house.

02-03-2007, 09:51 PM

This is getting out of hand.

You are so right, what is up with the Yanni avatar? :scare: