Your Big Screen Super Bowl Party Could Land You in Jail

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So you just got a new giant screen TV, and you figure the best way to break it in is to invite a bunch of friends over for the Super Bowl. That's great, but just don't ask anyone to help chip in for the food, or you could end up facing the legal wrath of the NFL.

Like many big corporations, the NFL takes copyright protection seriously, but the laws when it comes to this stuff can be pretty fuzzy. Still, US Code Title 17, chapter 1, section 110 says that "no such audiovisual device has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches, and any audio portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers." So you had better turn off that new 58 inch plasma, and 7.1 surround sound rig before the party.

Luckily, they also use the words 'public performance' quite a lot, so it's unlikely that they'll be by to slap the cuffs on unless you're actually charging to get in. Still, the NFL got themselves into a huge PR nightmare three years ago, when they went after a church that was planning to hold a Super Bowl party.

Even the words you use to publicize your event are important, as the NFL will go after anyone using "NFL" "Super Bowl" or "Super Sunday" in their advertising. They even tried to nail people for using "the big game", until Stanford and Cal pointed out that their annual head to head battle has been called that since 1892.

Personally, I'll be holding my annual Stupor Bowl party, and we'll watch on my 47 inch plasma with two of the surround speakers turned off just to be safe. The chips and drinks are on me.

Via Ars Technica

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