Touchdown! How to Enjoy the Super Bowl without Copyright Infringementbeing there // on Tuesday January 27, 2015
The countdown is on. The teams have been decided. The viewing party has been planned. It’s Super Bowl time.
Many churches have planned a viewing party for the big event, as it’s a great way to reach across all demographics and share your ministry through an evening of competition, food, and community. While it sounds like a simple way to entertain your congregation, it’s important to make sure your event complies with the NFL copyright laws to avoid violation.
In the past, churches that hosted Super Bowl events faced potential legal action for doing so because of NFL copyright issues. However, in 2009, the rules were clarified; and since then churches have been allowed to host this social gathering with the following restrictions:
- The game must be shown live on equipment you use in your ministry. It cannot be a recording.
- Admission for the party cannot be charged. However, donations can be accepted in order to help pay for costs associated with your event.
- To avoid any copyright infringements, call the event “The Big Party” or some equivalent, rather than a “Super Bowl Party,” as the event may not be promoted with the use of any trademarked or protected intellectual property. This includes using any of the following:
- Super Bowl;
- Team logos; and
- Any team names (e.g., Giants, Patriots). The city names where the teams are located are allowed (e.g., New York, New England).
Hosting an event during the game can be a great way to bring those in your congregation closer together. Just be sure you adhere to these guidelines to avoid receiving your own personal foul from the NFL.
If your church hosted a viewing party we want to know! Post photos of your event on our Facebook page!