Caution: Is your Super Bowl Party Illegal?
You have your beer, your deep-fried Super Bowl snacks, your friends, and your brand-new 70-inch plasma television. But wait! Does showing the Super Bowl on your gigantic new television to a bunch of people violate U.S. copyright law?? While there is a 55-inch limit to broadcast nondramatic musical works (which includes the Super Bowl) for bars and restaurants, there is a “homestyle exception” that allows you to legally show the game on a much larger screen. You are in compliance with copyright laws as long as you are not charging anyone that is watching, and you are only using a “single receiving apparatus of a kind commonly used in private homes.” Bottom line: while you are in violation of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 110, for asking your friends for a few bucks to watch the game, you wouldn’t be in violation for asking for some money to cover the high costs of the extravagant amounts of fried food I’m sure you’ll be offering.