The increasing popularity of the National Football League’s Super Bowl Championship has spawned an increasing number of private parties, some that employ projection-screen televisions measuring up to twenty feet diagonally. Only days before the 2004 Super Bowl, the NFL sent cease-and-desist letters to a number of business proprietors claiming display of the broadcast on televisions larger than fifty-five inches diagonally violated the NFL’s rights under 17 U.S.C. § 110(5). This Comment will show that because 17 U.S.C. § 110(5) was written to protect authors within the music industry, its application to broadcast television fails because of television’s fundamentally different business model. In addition, the Nielsen ratings system currently in place is overly demanding and the fair-use laws that should otherwise protect the public interest in dissemination are either inapplicable to television or blatantly unconstitutional.
Michael M. Fenwick, Football's Intellectual Side: The NFL Versus Super Bowl Parties and the Story of the Fifty-Five Inch Television, 4 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 125 (2004)