Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Holy touchdown: The difference between churches and sports bars

Dear Rich: I have a question. Is it true that our church can't show sporting events like football games on our big screen TV? I'm so glad you asked. Rather than give you a lot of legal backstory about non-musical works and copyright legislation (you can read about that stuff in this Slate article), the bottom line is that you'll likely run afoul of the law if your church uses a TV screen larger than 55 inches. If you do "Drive 55" you'll need a public performance license. Of course, if your flock doesn't mind mixing with infidels, you can move services down the street to a tavern with the appropriate licenses. Or you could just wear your fan gear to church and schedule services an hour later. I wish I had time to go into the relationship between contact sports and salvation -- remember the first time an NFL player kneeled in prayer in the end zone? -- but let's save that discussion for our Sunday blog. P.S. Click here for information on how to measure your TV screen size.