Saturday, February 2, 2008

Has the NFL gone insane?

There's a bunch of news about how the National Football League is prohibiting churches from allowing people to gather to watch the super bowl if the display for the set is greater than 55" diagonally. I first heard about it in a Washington Post article that was picked up on Slashdot.

The law in question is the U.S. Copyright law and it does state that an establishment may not display copyrighted works on an audiovisual device with a diagonal measurement greater than 55 inches. The code even states how many such devices (1) may be in a single room and how many total (4) may be in the establishment.

Of course, this is a very fascinating story that make's for fun reading and creates a certain amount of disgust within me related to the state of intellectual property laws in this country.

I'm not sure what the fuss is about though. The U.S. Copyright law also defines an establishment as "...a store, shop, or any similar place of business open to the general public for the primary purpose of selling goods or services...". The last I checked churches don't have the primary purpose of selling goods or services.

I don't think the NFL would ever sue a church for showing the super bowl on a screen larger than 55 inches - there couldn't be anything much dumber than that. On the other hand I'm getting pretty sick and tired of intellectual property "owners" attempting to impose more restrictions than already exist. The concept of me being some type of NFL licensee as a result of watching a game on my T.V. is grossly ridiculous. The intellectual property elite are attempting to create an ownership environment which simply doesn't exist. They seem to think that if they say something often enough then it will become truth. We all need to shout back that they're full of it.

This is this weekend's biggest WTF.

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