The Super Bowl, the NFL, and Copyright Law

While US legal statutes speak to many issues of copyright and intellectual property - in many cases they allow individual property rights holders to further restrict the use of their works. Except in cases where a court has ruled against any specific restrictions, the preference of the copyright holder on how their content is consumed should be followed.

One significant copyright holder who makes specific limits on how their content may be viewed is the NFL. Based on our understanding of the NFL's restrictions, the following guidelines for viewing NFL broadcasts (including the Super bowl) have been established by Student Life and should be followed on all LETU campus or site locations unless other guidance is received from the Vice President for Student Affairs.

  • The preferred location for residential student parties is the residence hall—either floor lounges or lobbies—using televisions, because we interpret those across the board as residential “home” spaces.
  • Projectors may be used in lobbies or lounges within residence halls without concern.
  • Showing the game on a screen larger than 55” in a non-residential location (i.e AFSC, Little Theater, Corner Café, etc.) that is not licensed to show, or normally does not show, football games is not allowed without permission from the NFL.
  • Showing the game to a group of people on a screen 55” or smaller is acceptable as long as there is not more than one screen in any individual room.
  • The primary concern of the NFL in the recent past has centered on charging admission to these parties.  So extend caution, please, in charging a flat rate for attending a party.  Costs should be limited to the exact cost of the food.  A donation system may be best to avoid complications.
  • LETU’s prohibition of gambling would include paying in for a chance at a bigger prize for choosing the outcome or other details within the game.  Door prizes and freebies that everyone attending is equally likely to win are just fine.
  • “Super Bowl,” “Pro Bowl,” and “Super Sunday” are trademarks and shouldn’t be used in formal advertising on campus.



Article ID: 121938
Fri 12/4/20 10:06 AM
Thu 1/7/21 10:53 AM