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NFL putting the kibosh on mass [Super Bowl] screenings
The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune ^ | February 2, 2010 | Chris Kirkham

Posted on 02/02/2010 6:18:17 AM PST by rrstar96

After a packed screening of the Saints' NFC Championship victory at Uptown's Prytania Theatre [in New Orleans], co-owner Robert Brunet has had hundreds of requests for tickets to view the Super Bowl at the historic theater this Sunday.

But instead of preparing for the game, Brunet has been haggling with NFL lawyers for more than a week after he received a cease-and-desist letter telling him that the free screening had violated copyright laws.

A similar story played out at the Sheraton New Orleans hotel, whose managers had planned a massive projection of the game on the side of the Canal Street hotel but eventually ruled it out because of legal concerns.

"It's a control issue," Brunet said. "From a purely technical and legal standpoint, the NFL has a right to do this. But at the end of the day, why does this even matter to them?"

In a city exhilarated by the Saints' Super Bowl run, bars, hotels and even movie theaters are looking for ways to bring fans together for mass viewings of the Super Bowl this Sunday. But many large screenings in New Orleans -- at restaurants, clubs, even on large projection screens at neighborhood block parties -- may run afoul of long-standing copyright laws that the NFL is keen to enforce during what is typically the biggest television event of the year.

(Excerpt) Read more at nola.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: bigmedia; copyrightlaw; football; louisiana; neworleans; neworleanssaints; nfl; saints; seebs; superbowl; thebiggame
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1 posted on 02/02/2010 6:18:17 AM PST by rrstar96
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To: lsucat; Roux; Pikachu_Dad; WFTR; chemicalman; abb; Liberty911; CajunConservative; LSUfan; ...

Pelican State ping


2 posted on 02/02/2010 6:20:04 AM PST by rrstar96 (Strength and Honor!)
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To: rrstar96
Why not? It worked out great for the RIAA.

</sarcasm>

3 posted on 02/02/2010 6:20:09 AM PST by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: rrstar96

But you can just download the ads...who needs to go to a theater?


4 posted on 02/02/2010 6:21:53 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: rrstar96

You can’t have people watching the game in alcohol free theaters. They should be in bars where the sponsors make the money. I mean, this day is second only to New Years Eve for Drunk Driving.


5 posted on 02/02/2010 6:21:58 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: rrstar96

I’d love to see the NFL’s reasoning here. I fully understand them nixing any venue that tries to charge money for the broadcast.

But aren’t more viewers better? And if you are in a theater watching the game, aren’t you MORE likely to watch the commercials than if you are at home, where you can get up on the breaks?

Is the problem just that they can’t accurately count the number of viewsers if people aren’t watching in the “traditional manner”? That would certainly be important since the amount of money they make on commercials is based on views.

But if they could work out the counting, they are likely to keep viewers better at a big gathering. At home people will turn off a lousy game. How many people are going to get up out of a seat at a bar and leave?


6 posted on 02/02/2010 6:21:58 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: rrstar96

I think the NFL went after churches last year who wanted to hold Super Bowl parties.


7 posted on 02/02/2010 6:22:10 AM PST by RabidBartender (Rob Scaaf for Missouri State Senate http://schaafforsenate.com/)
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To: rrstar96

Are they really going to try to stop bars from broadcasting the Super Bowl? They’re going to enforce no-party zones at houses?

This is a GREAT way to lose fans and money.


8 posted on 02/02/2010 6:23:22 AM PST by wastedyears (The curtain has fallen, behold the messiah.)
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To: RabidBartender

Ah yes, here it is.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1963153/posts

And the year before...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1777351/posts


9 posted on 02/02/2010 6:23:37 AM PST by RabidBartender (Rob Scaaf for Missouri State Senate http://schaafforsenate.com/)
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To: RabidBartender

The NFL can KMA.

I never spend one penny on their merchandise , tickets or any of their other junk.


10 posted on 02/02/2010 6:24:19 AM PST by shelterguy
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To: shelterguy

Time for municipalities and taxpayers to start demanding rebates from the NFL for the stadiums built with taxpayer money. They are even going after small shops in New Orleans selling t-shirts with the logo of a pro-Saints chant the fans started years ago at the Superdome. The NFL trademarked the chant and is demanding license fees before any sales occur.


11 posted on 02/02/2010 6:27:05 AM PST by laconic
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To: RabidBartender
One more reason why I have largely sworn off professional sports.

This sort of thing, along with one too many strikes by multi-millionaires who barely graduated high school, and I just couldn't stomach it any longer.

12 posted on 02/02/2010 6:28:07 AM PST by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: laconic

Beat me to the punch. IMO any over-the-air broadcast of an event from a taxpayer funded stadium ought to be considered public domain.


13 posted on 02/02/2010 6:29:14 AM PST by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: laconic

I used to work for a cable TV company. From time to time we would want to stage a large screen performance of a PPV fight or sporting event. We would charge what one would charge through the cable.

Dealing with the promotions and lawyer folks from these sports companies and organizations was like dealing with the mob. Oh that’s right, they WERE the mob.

Enjoy the game, but don’t let yourself be deluded about who holds the entertainment power in this country.


14 posted on 02/02/2010 6:29:29 AM PST by Vermont Lt (I am light skinned and don't speak with a dialect. Can I be President?)
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To: rrstar96
Why on earth does it matter whether 10,000,000 people are watching on 10,000,000 televisions or on ONE television???

If the PEOPLE in question have the right to watch the program, then what difference does it make, even LEGALLY, how those viewers are grouped or associated together?

15 posted on 02/02/2010 6:31:10 AM PST by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: massgopguy
I mean, this day is second only to New Years Eve for Drunk Driving.
For years the NOW gang claimed Super Bowl Sunday was the biggest day for domestic violence against women.
Of course it was a lie.
16 posted on 02/02/2010 6:31:25 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: rrstar96
I thought the NFL's lawyers would have been too busy issuing cease-and-desist orders to keep New Orleans businesses from using the phrase "Who Dat?" in their advertising.

The NFL believes the phrase belongs to them by copyright law, so that presumably, some enterprising t-shirt maker would be prohibited from making and selling a shirt that said: "Who Dat Gonna Get the Felons Outta the NFL?" Which is too bad because I'd like to own one. I'd even wear it in a public movie theater screening the Super Bowl.

17 posted on 02/02/2010 6:31:36 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: andy58-in-nh
I thought the NFL's lawyers would have been too busy issuing cease-and-desist orders to keep New Orleans businesses from using the phrase "Who Dat?" in their advertising.

Which is a blatant rip-off of Cinci's "Who Dey?" chant started in the 80's.

Both chants suck, imo. I want to root for NO on Sunday, but I find it hard when their fans sound like a bunch of annoying Bengals fans.
18 posted on 02/02/2010 6:39:12 AM PST by mmichaels1970
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To: mmichaels1970

I do recall the Cincinnati chant, now that you mention it. And on the subject of convicted felons in the NFL, where better to start than there (”Who Dey Gonna Be on Probation?”)


19 posted on 02/02/2010 6:43:37 AM PST by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: rrstar96

First, the NFL went after churches who were putting on Superbowl watch parties. Now they are going after everyone else that has more than a few guests over to watch.

The only thing I can see is they are trying to protect their TV ratings - folks watching in a large group don’t count like individuals at home...I guess.

But I know quite a few people who generally wouldn’t even WATCH the Superbowl if not for the parties and big group viewings. They watch because of the activity/friendships/party.

This really makes no sense overall - as it creates bad blood between the NFL and many fans.

What’s next? They going to crack down on me having over 3 or 4 friends over to watch? 2 or 3? They going to start suing for royalties for each additional person watching at your house?


20 posted on 02/02/2010 6:44:15 AM PST by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
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To: rrstar96

Great marketing strategy, Pi$$ off your fans to the point they tell you to go to hell............................


21 posted on 02/02/2010 6:44:41 AM PST by Red Badger (Education makes people easy to lead, difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.)
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To: TChris

I guess the way they track viewers is not necessarily by the number of viewers but by the number of tv sets tuned in. I’m not sure how that stuff works, but I’m pretty sure it comes down to revenue determined by the number of tvs tuned in.


22 posted on 02/02/2010 6:45:46 AM PST by new cruelty
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To: mmichaels1970; All

Yup happens every year. NFL very protective of its trademark and product. Even radio & TV stations can be forbidden from saying Super Bowl in promotions, etc.; a few yrs ago BEFORE the ban came about these mass gatherings, WRKO Boston had to call it “the big game bash”. Stores have to say “get a great new TV to enjoy the big game” or something like that

A chip dip manufacturer poked fun at this policy in a radio ad from several years ago. “We can’t tell you the name of this event, but watching it would be SUPER...like a BOWL of Dean’s dip” As long as you don’t say the two words together in an ad...?


23 posted on 02/02/2010 6:47:02 AM PST by raccoonradio
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To: TheBattman
What’s next? They going to crack down on me having over 3 or 4 friends over to watch?

They're going to trademark salsa dips.
24 posted on 02/02/2010 6:47:43 AM PST by mmichaels1970
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To: raccoonradio

(that is, WRKO had an event somewhere where people could gather to watch the game, poss. for free)


25 posted on 02/02/2010 6:47:43 AM PST by raccoonradio
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To: CharlesWayneCT

It’s because of the limitations of the TV rating system. People are only counted if they are at home watching. At least that was what they said last year when they went after churches who held Super Bowl gatherings.


26 posted on 02/02/2010 6:50:15 AM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: TheBattman
What’s next? They going to crack down on me having over 3 or 4 friends over to watch? 2 or 3? They going to start suing for royalties for each additional person watching at your house?

Think of the NFL paraphrasing Jesus: "For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them....demanding royalties."

27 posted on 02/02/2010 6:50:34 AM PST by rrstar96 (Strength and Honor!)
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To: laconic
Time for municipalities and taxpayers to start demanding rebates from the NFL for the stadiums built with taxpayer money.

Amen to that. These welfare queens should have no rights to demand anything of anyone since WE are forced to pay THEIR bills.

Any taxpayer that helped finance a stadium should be given tickets to that venue at no extra cost. Why should we have to pay twice to enjoy the entertainment for which we already paid once?

28 posted on 02/02/2010 6:52:44 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: rrstar96

The NFL is intent on getting everyone up to speed with Browns fans. I used to bleed Brown and Orange. It was MY team, or so I thought.

Art Modell and the NFL taught us it’s a business, and the fact that the team plays in your city has absolutely nothing to do with you. Fans are in no way part of the team. Fans are merely revenue streams.

I haven’t bought any Browns gear in about 7 years. The only game I’ve been to since they started again in Cleveland, I was given free tickets.

The Browns have made me a Buckeye fan.


29 posted on 02/02/2010 6:55:13 AM PST by brownsfan (The average American: Uninformed, and unconcerned.)
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To: rrstar96

Sports bars pay royalties for the right to show NFL games to their audiences. The NFL is protecting its property rights.

You’d think FReepers would be in favor of property rights.

Or did you think that message about the telecast being intended for private home viewing was meaningless?


30 posted on 02/02/2010 6:56:30 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: pnh102

Rightly or wrongly, governments subsidize all types of economic developments. Whether that is helping a supermarket locate in a minority area or turning a former industrial site into a shopping mecca.

Does that give you the right to walk into one of those stores and walk out with free merchandise?


31 posted on 02/02/2010 7:00:30 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: rrstar96

We had the same problem in Pittsburgh for the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins put a huge screen outside the arena for fans who could not get tickets to watch. But NBC would not allow them to show any of the games that they were broadcasting. Strangely the other games that were on Versus were okay for some reason. And this was on a public lawn with no admission charged.


32 posted on 02/02/2010 7:04:16 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SoothingDave
"Or did you think that message about the telecast being intended for private home viewing was meaningless?"

I got no problem with such except that its on TV for free. One can have TV on in a place of business any other time as long as you either get the signal off an antenna or pay for Cable or Sat TV. Why does the NFL get to suddenly change the deal because of a single show?

So they can pound sand as far as I am concerned! If they want to put restrictions on viewing then they should encode the transmission and charge for decoders! Then they have an argument! Other wise they can should shut the hell up!

33 posted on 02/02/2010 7:04:28 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the next one...)
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To: SoothingDave

While your point is correct, the broader point that the Super Bowl is many ways a party event which centers around a football game is correct as well. So, the NFL is cutting off its nose to spite its face. Many people who would not watch the game at home will view it in conjunction with a Super Bowl party. Going after Super Bowl parties is a counterintuitive marketing strategy.


34 posted on 02/02/2010 7:05:08 AM PST by the808bass
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To: SoothingDave
Rightly or wrongly, governments subsidize all types of economic developments.

There's a huge difference between lowering taxes to encourage development and the outright paying of taxpayer money to private entities to build something. Taxes should not be used for the latter, and if they are, it just shows that taxes are too high anyway. It isn't like the NFL doesn't generate enough money to build its own playgrounds either.

Does that give you the right to walk into one of those stores and walk out with free merchandise?

If my taxes went to build it, then it is not free merchandise, as I helped to pay for it, so yes I am entitled to use something for which I helped pay. I know it doesn't work like this in real life, but it should, as it is not right to simply take money from people and not give those people access to the product or service bought with that money. And if it did work like this, you'd have far fewer private entities asking for welfare.

35 posted on 02/02/2010 7:11:15 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

That wasn’t really a “problem,” but an inconvenience.
Versus didn’t care about its signal being used like that. NBC did. NBC owned the rights.


36 posted on 02/02/2010 7:14:15 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: rrstar96

NFL = Nasty Freaking Leeches


37 posted on 02/02/2010 7:15:59 AM PST by savedbygrace
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To: Mad Dawgg
I got no problem with such except that its on TV for free. One can have TV on in a place of business any other time as long as you either get the signal off an antenna or pay for Cable or Sat TV. Why does the NFL get to suddenly change the deal because of a single show?

Listen to the legal warning again. Almost all sports on TV are broadcast for the use of the private home audience.

If you use sporting events to draw people into your business, you are not within the law.

Whether it makes sense for the copyright holders to enforce every trivial infraction is a different question. But don't believe that just because something is on TV for "free" that you have a right to commercial use of it.

38 posted on 02/02/2010 7:16:21 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: CharlesWayneCT
I’d love to see the NFL’s reasoning here. I fully understand them nixing any venue that tries to charge money for the broadcast. But aren’t more viewers better?

Actually, you have fewer "viewers" when you have a whole bunch watching in one place. The NFL wants "ratings" which would increase if each person(party) in the group watched it at home. Higher ratings = more money for the NFL.

39 posted on 02/02/2010 7:17:32 AM PST by SengirV
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To: the808bass
While your point is correct, the broader point that the Super Bowl is many ways a party event which centers around a football game is correct as well. So, the NFL is cutting off its nose to spite its face. Many people who would not watch the game at home will view it in conjunction with a Super Bowl party. Going after Super Bowl parties is a counterintuitive marketing strategy.

It may be unwise, but think of it this way.

You own a sports bar and pay thousands of dollars for the Sunday Ticket (licensing based on number of TVs, seats, etc.).

And now some hotel wants to display for free on an outdoor screen what you have paid good money for?

The NFL has to protect its property, or else all of the people who pay for it would be right to sue and demand redress.

Going after churches and neighborhoods maybe going too far, but the NFL must protect its property.

40 posted on 02/02/2010 7:19:26 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: pnh102
If my taxes went to build it, then it is not free merchandise, as I helped to pay for it, so yes I am entitled to use something for which I helped pay.

I can provide you with a list of businesses in PA that were subsidised. I invite you to come here, steal something from one of them and claim your argument.

41 posted on 02/02/2010 7:20:55 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SengirV
Actually, you have fewer "viewers" when you have a whole bunch watching in one place. The NFL wants "ratings" which would increase if each person(party) in the group watched it at home. Higher ratings = more money for the NFL.

The NFL wants people using its telecasts for public display to pay for the right. Is that so hard to understand?

42 posted on 02/02/2010 7:22:07 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: mmichaels1970; andy58-in-nh
Which is a blatant rip-off of Cinci's "Who Dey?" chant started in the 80's.

Saints fans also have been using that chant since the 80s.

43 posted on 02/02/2010 7:23:52 AM PST by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: SoothingDave
"Whether it makes sense for the copyright holders to enforce every trivial infraction is a different question. But don't believe that just because something is on TV for "free" that you have a right to commercial use of it."

Sorry but again they can pound sand, they broadcast the event over TV, on a channel that pays for the rights by selling advertising. I signed no contract with them. If I have the TV on in my business and the Super Bowl is on a free to view channel then tough for them.

Same with viewing it at a church etc. These people want their cake AND eat it too. If they stop broadcasting it on a free to view channel then no problem. But they don't get both no matter what convoluted law they bribed congress to pass! And its time citizens put a stop to such overbearing regulation!

44 posted on 02/02/2010 7:24:44 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the next one...)
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To: Mad Dawgg

I see. You’re not interested in what the law is, but what you would have it be.

I’m not sure how you expect to protect any intellectual property you may have after trampling down the laws to get at another guy’s.


45 posted on 02/02/2010 7:32:05 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: Romulus
Saints fans also have been using that chant since the 80s.

Ugggh...You're right. What awful chants...both of them. Heck with it, I'm rooting for Indy.
46 posted on 02/02/2010 7:32:43 AM PST by mmichaels1970
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To: rrstar96

This is silly. If I watch the game at home but don’t buy from advertisers the NFL has gained nothing anyway.


47 posted on 02/02/2010 7:33:00 AM PST by Sunshine Sister
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To: SoothingDave
I can provide you with a list of businesses in PA that were subsidised. I invite you to come here, steal something from one of them and claim your argument.

Might be a problem as I haven't paid taxes to Penna. since 2006.

But if a business received welfare then a taxpayer using a product or service from said business should not be considered to be a thief since that taxpayer already helped pay for the product or service in question.

48 posted on 02/02/2010 7:34:30 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: SoothingDave
"You own a sports bar and pay thousands of dollars for the Sunday Ticket (licensing based on number of TVs, seats, etc.)."

One problem with your premise.

The Super Bowl is on for Free on a Regular Network broadcast. As well as the local NFL games AND whatever game is the chosen National Broadcast each Sunday plus the Sunday night and Monday night games.

If they want to put restrictions on who can watch at what gatherings then they need to encode the signal and charge for it. But they want both income from commercials AND charge to watch the program as well. They can easily stop broadcasting on the Networks they have the Sunday Ticket system then they have all the rights in the world to decide who views their stuff, and I will back them up 100% for such!

49 posted on 02/02/2010 7:36:20 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the next one...)
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To: SoothingDave
"I see. You’re not interested in what the law is, but what you would have it be.

I’m not sure how you expect to protect any intellectual property you may have after trampling down the laws to get at another guy’s."

OK lets us put the stake through the heart of that argument right now.

Are there unjust laws on the books? (usually put there by crossing the palms of some legislator(s)! )

50 posted on 02/02/2010 7:38:37 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the next one...)
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