Questions about the legalities of hosting NFL game parties in Michigan don't come up very often because the Detroit Lions don't frequently make it to the playoffs.

But it's a different story this year.

Lions fans have waited more than three decades for the team to host a playoff game - but now the wait is just seven days as Detroit hosts the winner of the Eagles/Buccaneers game (scheduled for tonight, 1/15) this Sunday on NBC.

The NFL Has Strict Copyright Laws

A rather daunting disclaimer is issued before and during each game:

"This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent is prohibited."

But do you have to be concerned about violating copyright laws if you're hosting a Super Bowl party or any party at which a televised broadcast is being shown?

To put it succinctly, you're taking a much bigger risk letting your guests drink alcohol at your party than you are by showing a copyrighted NFL game.

Copyright Laws Do Not Prohibit Private Showings of NFL Games

According to Section 110 of the Copyright Law, entitled "Limitations on exclusive rights: exemption of certain performances and displays" states that as long as you are watching the game in your private home home without charging admission, you can have as big of a TV or projector as you can afford and not worry about breaking any laws. Note that your TV must not be visible outside your home because this would constitute a public viewing.

Are Churches Allowed to Show NFL Games on Video Equipment?

Churches are allowed to host watch parties as long as they display the game live on equipment that is regularly used in their course of ministry at their premises. This means no rented equipment at rented facilities.

Churches cannot charge admission for such parties, but are permitted to collect voluntary offering to defray the cost of hosting the event.

Eight Michigan Men Whose Convictions Have Been Overturned Thanks to the Innocence Project

Since it was founded in 1992, the Innocence Project has worked to exonerate hundreds of people who have been erroneously convicted.

We're spotlighting five cases in which five Michigan residents were convicted and eventually released thanks in part to the Michigan Innocence Project.

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

Jeffrey Epstein's Cabin in Northern Michigan

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

These Michigan Restaurants Have All Sadly Closed Since Appearing on National TV

You'd think an appearance on a national TV show like Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives or Restaurant: Impossible would guarantee success for a restaurant.

That hasn't been the case for these six restaurants, all of which have closed after being featured on national television.

Gallery Credit: George McIntyre

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