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Thou Shalt Not View The Super Bowl on a 56" Screen

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the that's-like-the-fourteenth-commandment-right dept.

The Almighty Buck 680

theodp writes "For 200 members of the Immanuel Bible Church and their friends, the annual Super Bowl party is over thanks to the NFL, which explained that airing NFL games at churches on large-screen TV sets violates the NFL copyright. Federal copyright law includes an exemption for sports bars, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, but churches are out of luck. Churchgoers who aren't averse to a little drinking-and-driving still have the opportunity to see the game together in public on a screen bigger than 55 inches."

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680 comments

Good luck with that, NFL (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277220)

Good.

I hope the NFL enforces this across America. Since most people are apparently too stupid to notice how the greedy bastards are taking away their freedoms, maybe this will wake more than a few of them up.

Re:Good luck with that, NFL (1)

Darkn3ss (812009) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277252)

Suck it NFL, I'm going to use a 3.4" LCD in my projector. I'm only going to be projecting it onto a 150" screen, so is that okay? If not, you can SUCK IT. I'll also download the game afterwards just to have the pleasure of deleting it later.

Re:Good luck with that, NFL (0, Troll)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277760)

I hope the NFL enforces this across America. Since most people are apparently too stupid to notice how the greedy bastards are taking away their freedoms, maybe this will wake more than a few of them up.

Suck it NFL, I'm going to use a 3.4" LCD in my projector. I'm only going to be projecting it onto a 150" screen, so is that okay? If not, you can SUCK IT.

Huh? I know it's popular around here to talk about how all America's freedoms are being stoled away by greedy, evil corporations and the dark over-government, but honestly WTF does that have to do with this?

Major sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, etc) have always been pretty strict about enforcing copyright and redistribution rights for their broadcasts. They even put up a big warning like the FBI warning shown at the start of movies. It is their property I suppose so that shouldn't be a big issue of contention.

So basically, the NFL told a church that they cannot redistribute the program to their members. As far as the TV size, I think they are pretty reasonable. After all, where should the line be drawn? 55 inches? 72 inches? Movie theater screens? If you bother to RTFA instead of going on about black helicopters you'll see these gems:

"There is a part of me that says, 'Gee, doesn't the NFL have enough money already?'" said Steve Holley, Immanuel's executive pastor.
Aww, poor guy. Personally I think record companies, many audio artists, software companies, movie studios, and Walmart all have too much money. That doesn't mean that stealing from them is okay.

Large Super Bowl gatherings around big-screen sets outside of homes shrink TV ratings and can affect advertising revenue, McCarthy said. "We have no objection to churches and others hosting Super Bowl parties as long as they...show the game on a television of the type commonly used at home," he said. "It is a matter of copyright law."
The "greedy bastards"!

"It's ridiculous," Whitehead said. "You can go into these stores now and buy 100-inch screens. The law is just outdated."
They just don't get it. Your family and even a large handful of friends can watch it on your 100-inch screen without problems. It's when you invite the entire neighborhood that the NFL/NBA/etc will get upset. Honestly, this isn't even worth a tempestinateapot tag. More like ignorantcrybabies maybe. It certainly warrants !news.

Re:Good luck with that, NFL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277264)

Being someone who believes that all religion is a scam I am happy to see this - let the hypocrites miss out on their superbowl for all I care.

Re:Good luck with that, NFL (1, Flamebait)

Noxal (816780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277612)

I think religion is pretty fucked up myself. However, freedoms being taken away from idiots are the same freedoms being taken away from you and I. So no matter how we may feel about idiot churchgoers, it's still very bothersome. Nevermind that I think all sports are a scam, as well.

Yeah, screw those churches! (-1, Troll)

raehl (609729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277616)

Since most people are apparently too stupid to notice how the greedy bastards are taking away their freedoms, maybe this will wake more than a few of them up.

Oh wait, you meant the greedy bastards were the NFL?

Why?

Being a church is not a free pass to just do whatever you want. It might be a free pass to not pay taxes, but it doesn't mean you get to take someone else's show or movie and charge admission to watch it, anymore than it means your priest can borrow my car to run church errands without asking and then return it without even filling up the gas tank.

The NFL spends a lot of time, effort and money putting together a football league. If the church wants to use the NFL's football games to attract more members to the church, and charge the people coming to the party to pay for that outreach program, then the church can pay to use the NFL's programming.

You can't just violate someone else's copyright and then act like THEY'RE the asshole by playing the "But I'm a church!" card. Well, I suppose you can, and I guess it's sad that the "I'm a church!" card works in this country and the "I'm a college student!" card doesn't.

I wonder what would happen if churches started giving away free MP3's of popular songs.

Re:Yeah, screw those churches! (3, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277658)

RTFA

...but it doesn't mean you get to take someone else's show or movie and charge admission to watch it...

If the church wants to use the NFL's football games to attract more members to the church, and charge the people coming to the party to pay for that outreach program...

Read the article; it specifically states that the church was *not* charging admission.

Re:Yeah, screw those churches! (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277690)

So wait, your saying that even though the super bowl will be traveling through the airwaves and you can get it if you have a TV, so your saying that now the NFL==TV manufacturers? Because in the end that's all that would be harmed from watching the game. I don't get how this is a big deal, its like saying because you have to buy some chips to come over to your friends house to play *insert video game here* the *insert game's maker here* it is suddenly making them lose money because some guy got chips in return! Really, with that logic I can only hope you were trying to get moderated +5 funny.

sure, but....... (1)

spooje (582773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277250)

Sure, I can see the NFL doing this, but are cops really going to go to churches and bust people for it?

Re:sure, but....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277300)

Federal law. Local cops can't and won't do squat

Re:sure, but....... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277312)

Sure, I can see the NFL doing this, but are cops really going to go to churches and bust people for it?

If the NFL presses a lawful charge, then I can see that. If the NFL gets a judgment in their favor and the church violates it, then yes.

Cops? No. Lawyers, yes. (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277364)

The NFL is a large corporation. Corporations prefer to use lawyers and scary sounding letters rather than the coppers. It's a lot harder to put a scary sounding letter on television than a bunch of cops busting up a church.

Re:Cops? No. Lawyers, yes. (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277786)

In practice, who is really going to take a church to court? It is bad PR. There are already ad viewers in the process, so its not like there's no profit from large audiences. It's just a paranoid thug move on behalf of the NFL.
     

Churches (1)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277376)

Well, the bible says that Christians are to obey the laws of whatever land they live in. What kind of pathetically hypocritical Christians are going to break the law and doom themselves to

Re:Churches (1)

knutkracker (1089397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277826)

the bible says that Christians are to obey the laws of whatever land they live in.
What if the law says 'burn all christians'?

Re:sure, but....... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277688)

Tea and kung-fu. Life is good. risingphoenixtea.com


Their website creation skills...not so good.

Warning: Call-time pass-by-reference has been deprecated; If you would like to pass it by reference, modify the declaration of [runtime function name](). If you would like to enable call-time pass-by-reference, you can set allow_call_time_pass_reference to true in your INI file. in /home/.tchikovsky/risingphoenix/risingphoenixtea.com/mambots/content/podcast.php on line 24

Warning: Call-time pass-by-reference has been deprecated; If you would like to pass it by reference, modify the declaration of [runtime function name](). If you would like to enable call-time pass-by-reference, you can set allow_call_time_pass_reference to true in your INI file. in /home/.tchikovsky/risingphoenix/risingphoenixtea.com/mambots/content/podcast.php on line 26

sports and religion? (2, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277258)

on my slashdot? it may be more likely than i think. seriously though, here's a story about 2 very non-geek things apparently in conflict with each other. weird.

Re:sports and religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277306)

2 very non-geek things
Now you've done it...

Re:sports and religion? (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277570)

No kidding. I'm a hardcore geek. I am also a sports geek. Won't be watching the Superbowl, though only because I don't have cable. And even if I did, thanks to stupid Canadian broadcasting laws, I get local commercials, not the cool ass new movie trailers and Superbowl commercials the US get.

But I'll probably download the game and check it out if I remember and don't have it spoiled first.

Re:sports and religion? (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277710)

... i know, i was just being a bit stereotypical. I had a college football scholarship. I wasn't _that_ good tho, so I went the brains route instead.

its like the writers strike is causing repeats (3, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277290)

Is this now a yearly tradition for churches to whine about their Superbowl parties...

Here is last years article same story, different church:

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/category/miami-football/2007/02/01/nfl-orders-church-to-cancel-super-bowl-party/ [aol.com]

Re:its like the writers strike is causing repeats (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277442)

For the past two years, my undergrad dorm has borrowed a school projector, and has shown the game on a wall in the common room. I don't know exactly how big it was, but I'm betting it was well over 55". We'd even use some of our event funds to buy pizza, etc. I've graduated, so I don't know what they're doing this year, but I thought I'd mention that these types of events aren't limited to churches.

Regardless of what the law actually says, it'd be pretty idiotic if the NFL wanted to shut down our event. You can't even claim that people are being harmed by the religious aspect in our case!

Re:its like the writers strike is causing repeats (3, Interesting)

OECD (639690) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277520)

Is this now a yearly tradition for churches to whine about their Superbowl parties...

Yes. This follows the new yearly tradition of the NFL to abuse its copyright in a manner that can only suggest RIAA envy.

Superbowl is not a religous event (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277784)

I personally am wondering what business is it of a church to host a Superbowl party? If you want to play host to a congregation and discuss your religion, or provide a place to worship, that's fine. If you want to get a bunch of people together for the Superbowl then with respect to that particular event you are no different than anyone else hosting a Superbowl party and you should not be treated any differently either.

Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (5, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277302)

They are in no way creative works. What "original authorship" exists? "Copyright shelters only fixed, original and creative expression," which a football game isn't. [stanford.edu]

Furthermore, to be copyrighted, a work must be fixed into a "tangible medium." That is not the case for a live broadcast (although it might be for an after-the-fact replay).

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277396)

I thought the copyright pertained to the inane blather that the "color commentator" and the "play by play guy" spout? I would think that you could just turn off the volume and have your own "announcer in a pulpit" if you were one of those church goers though. So maybe they copyright the stats and the yellow line they draw on the screen? Pretty hard to censor that so that all you saw was the part that shouldn't be able to have a copyright.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277416)

If it were only the broadcast of a a fixed camera showing the field of play and the gathering the sound of the crowd, then I believe you would be correct.

However, add on multiple cameras, the director choosing what is displayed, the broadcast commentary, additional production stuff and you are firmly in the realm of copyright.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (5, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277428)

What "original authorship" exists?
The editing, the commentary? It's not like there is a single camera fixed on the field. Also the teams are really entertainers and the sport can be considered an improvised performance.

Furthermore, to be copyrighted, a work must be fixed into a "tangible medium." That is not the case for a live broadcast (although it might be for an after-the-fact replay).
If IP addresses held in RAM can be considered "fixed", then a live broadcast can certainly also be considered fixed.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (2, Insightful)

TheClam (209230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277448)

I suggest you talk to the director and cameramen and ask them if there's no creative work going on.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277802)

I suggest you talk to the director and cameramen and ask them if there's no creative work going on.

There are pretty much fixed rules for what and how the game should be filmed. Sure it takes some effort and skill to learn the rules, but there is very little room for "artistic freedom" - a cameraman doing his own thing is likely to be fired.

Just because something requires skill to perform doesn't automatically make it creative. A plumber requires skill to do plumbing repairs. In fact plumbing repair may even more involve "creativity" than the cameraman situation, since cleverness may be required to work around unexpected problems and unforeseen situations.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (3, Informative)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277492)

Easy: they copyright the broadcast of the football game, not the game itself. Then they prohibit anybody else from broadcasting the game (an agreement on admission to the stadium).

If that's the case... (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277736)

how can they claim a church, receiving/viewing the broadcast, is "copying," and therefore in violation of copyright?

Since the only practical use of a broadcast is to view it, isn't such viewing (at least non-commercially) "fair use?" Why is it a copyright violation for a group of parishiners to watch together, but not for a family to do the same? Is a license required to view content carried over the public airwaves? (this isn't Great Britain!)

BTW, you totally missed/ignored the original point - a sports broadcast is functional, not creative.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (1)

gotzero (1177159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277552)

What I read stated that this was being watched because they did not like the game accompanied by a religious message. I think the screen size issue is being used a way to fight this issue without bringing it up directly.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277680)

Furthermore, to be copyrighted, a work must be fixed into a "tangible medium." That is not the case for a live broadcast (although it might be for an after-the-fact replay).

I heard somewhere--read on Slashdot, actually--that live television broadcasts are recorded as the broadcast progresses and is then transmitted after a short delay (a matter of seconds if not less). By being the first to record the broadcaster secures their place as the copyright holder.

Re:Why can live sports events be copyrighted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277814)

Not a lawyer but

it would appear that a "musical work" is not the same as a "motion pictures and other audiovisual works" as they are separate entities in the below section ... furthermore I would also think that common sense would make the nfl broadcast not a musical work. As a "musical work" is not properly defined, I wonder what existing case law has to say on the matter...

---------------
  102. Subject matter of copyright: In general

(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:

(1) literary works;

(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

(7) sound recordings; and

(8) architectural works.

(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

So... (5, Funny)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277304)

If I have a 60" TV, and no one is around to watch it, does it violate copyright?

Re:So... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277494)

Well, are you One of Them with Jesus Christ hanging above your TV set?

Maybe that could qualify. This is yet another disadvantage of being religious!

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277776)

Go directly to jail. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

2007 (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277326)

Didnt we just go thru this in 2007 ? I know at least in the local cases they backed down and apologized.

This IP nonsence is really getting out of hand. ( and i hate sports, so it doesn't effect me directly )

Re:2007 (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277452)

This whole thing is ridiculous. Yes, the NFL is overzealous in protecting their content and possibly to the point of going over the line. However, I'm tired of all these bullshit excuses to get the population behind an individual or individual group's causes by saying such and such a company did XYZ to me... AND I'M A MOTHER WITH SIX CHILDREN! or such and such a company had the audacity to do this to us... AND WE WORSHIP BABY JESUS!.

Who cares? Squirting out kids or belonging to a church doesn't earn you special rights, special treatment, special sympathy or special consideration.

Re:2007 (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277740)

Who cares? Squirting out kids or belonging to a church doesn't earn you special rights, special treatment, special sympathy or special consideration.
What's your point? The fact that they're in a church doesn't mean that we should be any less outraged, either. The NFL is abusing copyright law, and it happens to be a church who's getting hurt. The story is the abuse, not the fact that it's happening to a church.

CAUGHT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277328)

Caught those conniving broadcast-pirates!

We've just prevented a very serious crime, people.

Re:CAUGHT! (4, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277342)

We've just prevented a very serious crime, people.
Which crime: exposing more people to football, or exposing more people to religion?

Also: Thou shalt not buttfuck little boys (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277336)

yeah CmdrTaco, that applies to you too.

Re:Also: Thou shalt not buttfuck little boys (0, Offtopic)

kramulous (977841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277480)

You fool! Although you posted Anon. Coward CmdrTaco has access to the apache logs and now has your IP. Prepare for the clone army attack!

Fine with me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277356)

If the TV was purchased with church funds or the TV is being used in the church facilities, then it sounds to me like it's an abuse of the church's tax exempt status. Obviously that has nothing to do with whether or not they get picked on by the NFL, but whole idea of using the church as an entertainment facility is so inappropriate that I don't mind them getting picked on.

Re:Fine with me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277468)

Im no churchgoer now, but its not like the TV was paid for by your taxes, but rather the people who attend the church as a way to promote social gathering. Now I suggest you go back to your basement and play WoW by yourself because apparently you have no clue what it means to socialize with other people.

entertainment? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277474)

in way is a church not like entertainment? you could always read the bible at home and come to your own conclusions about what it says. but there's no rhetoric, no singing, no mutual backslapping at home, so people go out and pay for it.

just been watching "the triumph of the will". i'd suggest watching it and drawing comparisons.

Re:Fine with me... (1)

GregPK (991973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277546)

It's likely a projector, something which most churches nowdays use in the sanctuary and other buildings. It's a great way to show art, photos, music, hymns, videos in accordance with practicing faith. Showing football was likely a way to get more people to come out to the church so they can see what the staff are like etc. It's hardly an abuse of funds. I don't think the NFL rights should technically apply here since its in a place where people aren't going to exacly be comftorable sitting down for the entire 3 hours of the game and it's not something I'd consider a viable alternative of going to the game. Maybe a good clean way of watching the game in comparison to a sports bar. But, anyone who has spent time sitting in a church pew knows what I'm talking about.

Re:Fine with me... (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277624)

This mild rule bending is ok, its a lot nicer and beneficial to over all society than congress misusing trillions in dollars.

If it only hurts people who are insanely rich beyond King status, then let it be, spread the love, and a big finger up the execs bung holes.

Re:Fine with me... (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277828)

The whole point of Churches being tax-exempt is the idea that they are a social good. Rather than have the government take your money and inefficiently dole it out to various needy people, the Church is SUPPOSED to fill that role, same with other non-profits. Too be angry that a Church is reaching out socially to the community through an entertainment event is just wrong. In this day and age it is good to see a Church fulfilling its obligation to reach out to the community. There are way too many out there who enjoy tax-exempt status while maintaining there little club and condemning everyone outside their four walls.

Oh yay (5, Funny)

ObjetDart (700355) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277400)

Religion and football...two things that I couldn't possibly care less about. I hope they obliterate each other in a spectacular orgy of litigation.

Re:Oh yay (1, Flamebait)

tfiedler (732589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277696)

Apparently you're the kind of person who would have done nothing when the Nazis went to the ghettos and started their genocide, because they weren't coming for you. THis isn't about football or religion, but something worse. I'll leave it to you to try and figure what that is, although I kind of doubt you lack the mental equipment that sort of introspection will require.

Superbowl (1)

Soloact (805735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277410)

Huh? What's a Superbowl? Is that the one I put popcorn in?

Re:Superbowl (3, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277464)

I heard it's something about sports they're crazy about in the USA, even more than the world cup in soccer, believe it or not! It's supposedly about bowling. :-p

Cheap munchies (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277752)

I am not sure what the Superbowl is, but the supermarket had great sales on munchies today for the "big game". It must involve football because they had graphics of footballs and football playing fields on most of the displays.

Screw the NFL (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277420)

I haven't watched ANY sports game in years, these pricks make Enron execs look like Mother Theresa with all their greed.

Re:Screw the NFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277610)

It is amazing how bitter one can still be for being picked last at dodge ball.

I can truly understand this (5, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277424)

After all, it's really hard to make a profit on the Super Bowl.

After all, the advertisements were set at an as low rate as $90,000 per second [nytimes.com].

Seriously, let's think of the NFL for once. :-(

Re:I can truly understand this (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277762)

After all, the advertisements were set at an as low rate as $90,000 per second.

With at least 36 [nytimes.com] ads lined up averaging 30 seconds each that comes out to $97.2 million.

it's really hard to make a profit on the Super Bowl.

With money like that it would be really hard not to make a profit. Now if the teams actually payed for their own stadiums...

Pffft. This is easy. (5, Funny)

Associate (317603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277432)

All the churches need are liquor licenses. They can sell communion wine and hot wings. Insta-church-sports bar. Eat that NFL. No one fucks with the Jesus.

Just another reason that ... (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277438)

I'm glad I've never had an interest in organized sports. Such naked greed needs to be recognized by the medical profession as the mental illness that it is, and treated as such.

You heretics (1, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277462)

The real WTF is, people in the USA watch football in churches? How the fuck is that not somehow blasphemous?

Re:You heretics (5, Funny)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277528)

The real WTF is, people in the USA watch football in churches? How the fuck is that not somehow blasphemous?

In some parts of the U.S., football is the dominant religion.

Re:You heretics (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277642)

The real WTF is, people in the USA watch football in churches? How the fuck is that not somehow blasphemous?



In some parts of the U.S., football is the dominant religion.

Going by the noise from my local football stadium (for one of the biggest London clubs) this isn't restricted to the USA. It's strange to see several thousand identically dressed people (including maybe 10% children) all walking along the same road (which the police have to close). Having said that, I essentially do the same thing going to rock/metal/goth concerts, but I look weirder :-).

Re:You heretics (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277562)

Most churches have a 'community house', they're not watching it in the main chapel.

Either way, the NFL can suck it. I'm warming up my giant DLP system, starting 30 minutes late and sending it thru the DVR to skip the commercials, just to spite them.

the commercials are fun to watch and you will miss (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277730)

the commercials are fun to watch and you will miss a big part of the game.

Re:the commercials are fun to watch and you will m (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277830)

the commercials are fun to watch and you will miss a big part of the game.
Because nothing compliments competitive sports like a pets.com commercial.

Re:You heretics (1)

Kurrel (1213064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277582)

I'm sure you could make some kind of case about idolatry and greed, but there's weasel answers for 'em all.

Re:You heretics (3, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277694)

The real WTF is, people in the USA watch football in churches? How the fuck is that not somehow blasphemous?

It's the only way to get some of those people to go to Church on Super Bowl Sunday.

Re:You heretics (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277714)

Church (or temple, mosque, synagogue, etc) serves social functions, too - it's not all about theology/philosophy. Get a grip, my man. As for the Superbowl, I couldn't care less this year. I don't like either team. GO RAIDERS!!

Re:You heretics (1)

alienuforia (1009777) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277748)

Because they are not usually watching the game in the actual sanctuary. Obviously your experience with churches is slim, but fellowship halls are a part of the church-going experience. After the worship service is complete, it is not uncommon for the congregation to meet for lunch and continue the fellowship in the other ares of the church. This can include anything recreational that fosters a Christian way of life. I don't understand how you can equate sporting events to blasphemy. I distinctly remember being a senior in high school and attending "5th Quarter" at the church on Friday nights after the high school football games were over. We'd make a habit of ordering loads of pizza, open up the basketball courts, turn on the big screens, and hold a prayer devotional before the festivities began. Nothing uncommon about that at least where I'm from in the US.

Re:You heretics (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277764)

Not as much as Halo in churches, I would think.

Of course, that was multiplayer, so they probably honestly didn't know that the campaign is the Good Guys against a bunch of religious zealots who were about to inadvertently bring about the end of life as we know it...

Sound familar? (1)

hardburlyboogerman (161244) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277490)

Sounds like the NFL is adopting the attitude of the RIAA." Let's declare war on our customers and rake in the cash!"
Greedy Bastards should be subjected to death by black hole.(Drop them in,forever gone from our universe)

Heard it before (3, Insightful)

peektwice (726616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277530)

A person I know works for a church, and that church had investigated this before, and received the same answer. This is not news. It also does not surprise me that there is an exemption for sports bars. Don't get me wrong, me and the booze, we get along great. But if there's a ban on public performance there's a ban on it. Besides, using the NFL's logic, the ban should be the other way around. The sports bar make money showing the football game. Churches are tax exempt, and therefore do not officially make money.

Fuck'em (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277536)

If I was the church I would say fuck'em and do it anyway. What the hell they going to do sue a church? Wow, that would do wonders for public relations.

Besides that's not public viewing. This is. I'm going to roll my 60 big ass tv up against the window so the whole fucking neighborhood can watch it. I'm also going to scare up a mini radio transmitter so eveyone can hear it too.

fuck'em.

Just to be clear (2, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277538)

I'm not supposed to watch the Super Bowl if I have a 56" TV? Got it. Anything else they don't want me to watch? Not sure how my not watching helps their ratings but I'm happy to help in this case.

Easy Loophole (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277618)

From TFA:

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

Don't you mean... (2, Informative)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277646)

..."Thou shalt not watch 'the big game'"?

Remember, you can't use the name unless you cough up money to the NFL! It's trademarked!

Praise God (2, Funny)

blue l0g1c (1007517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277648)

God obviously endorses the NFL. Look how many players are praying to him before, during, and after every game. It's a poor move on the NFL's part to slight Jesus in this manner.

The SB is on Free Over The Air TV if it was on PPV (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277664)

The SB is on Free Over The Air TV if it was on PPV / cable / sat tv then they may have a point but free tv was stopping the Church from just flipping a tv to the game and calling it a night time church event with entertainment and food?

Simple "Fix" (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277744)

Federal copyright law includes an exemption for sports bars, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, but churches are out of luck.

Simple fix: make the church a sports-bar. "The Church of the Sacred Wine, Beer, and Vodka Trinity."
     

Solution: videowall (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277746)

If the size of the screen is the problem then just show the game on a multi element video wall. Problem solved. Certainly the mega-churches can spare a dime for this.

Does This Apply to the Church of Beer and Wings? (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277754)

This statement:

"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."

is standard boilerplate and attached to every professional sports broadcast.

Now, fair use applies to the broadcasts as much as it does to anything else. What constitutes fair use of a live boadcast? I don't know. But, copying an entire work and redistributing it is typically not considered fair use.

But, that's not what the churches are doing.

That said, if the NFL is going to go after churches who let a couple hundred of the faithful watch the game, then why don't they go after sports bars who let a couple hundred of the unfaithful watch the game over beer and wings?

The Real Story... (0, Redundant)

quetwo (1203948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277794)

They did not get called out because of their large screen -- rather it was because they had :

  - A large screen
  - Invited the 'public' to view the event
  - Charged for admission to the event

The NFL has no problem with home-viewings (even if it is on a 100' television!). It is when people make it a public showing. Charging admission makes it even less 'legal'. You must purchase a license for the public showing to make it legal.

NFL -- copyright abuse (3, Insightful)

coats (1068) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277818)

The NFL's absolutist position on copyright (*no* use without permission) is contrary to both the copyright law itselfand in fact to the Constitution. In particular, "fair use" is a Constituional concept: in its original decision that established the doctrine of Fair Use, the Supreme Court said that Congress may not pass a copyright act so restrictive that it destroys freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Inasmuch as that is within the purview of the NFL's business, their statements about this are under law assumed to be deliberate and in full knowledge of that relevant law. Therefore, one must assume that the NFL's fraudulent claims of absolute control under the copyright act are a deliberate and knowing attempt to defraud the public. For that fraud, the NFL should be prosecuted.

The simple solution? (3, Funny)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22277820)

Is it still a 56" TV if there is a 1/2 inch strip of tape or something around the edge of the screen?
God invented duct tape for a reason.

wrong church (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22277834)

"For 200 members of the Immanuel Bible Church and their friends, the annual Super Bowl party is over thanks to the NFL, which explained that airing NFL games at churches on large-screen TV sets violates the NFL copyright.
The problem is, these folks are just with the wrong church when it comes to copyright law. I'll bet that the scientologists not only would get away with broadcasting the superbowl at a $1000/seat church event on a giant TV, but could also figure out a way to actually sue the NFL itself later for copyright violation for playing the game in the first place because it violates some hidden church doctrine.
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