Copyright and the Super Bowl

4 Things to Remember Before Showing the Super Bowl at your Church

Are you planning a party to watch the Super Bowl? Food. Friends. Football…and fun! My house is always full of activity for big football games. What a great time for friends and family to get together! Many churches have also begun to use this occasion as an opportunity for outreach and fellowship.

As churches plan the big event, please remember that the NFL and the Super Bowl are trademarked and protected by copyright law. However, in 2008 Roger Goodell and the NFL agreed to allow churches and religious organizations to “televise the Super Bowl for congregational parties.”  However, there are a few requirements churches must honor:

1. Show the game live, at your regular place of worship. Recording the Super Bowl is not permitted.

2. View the game on equipment you own and use in the course of ministry at your premises. You may not rent special equipment for this event.

3. Do not charge admission for the event. You may, however, take up a donation to defray the expenses.

4. Beware of copyright infringement. As you plan your promotion for your event, please remember that NFL logo, the term “Super Bowl” and other league and game branding are trademarked, protected intellectual property. Be creative with your promotion and consider using words that do not include copyrighted terms.

Most importantly, enjoy your time together as a church family and may the best team win!

If you would like further information, Christian Copyright Solutions and Church Tax and Law provide excellent resources on this topic.

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