On some blogs I see GIFs or videos of certain plays from NFL games. Is it legal to create these and post them online? You always hear the disclaimer on TV about using the footage, but I see this stuff all over the place.

1 Answer 1


What is allowed and what happens are different things; this is why we have police, courts and prisons. If everyone followed all of the laws all of the time we would need none of these.

The videos are copyright and without the permission of the copyright holder (the NFL) you cannot reproduce or distribute them. A defense to copyright violation is if the usage is fair use or fair dealing.

What you see on line is:

  1. Done with permission of the NFL
  2. Fair use as it is being used to comment on or analyze the performance; like a critic's book review.
  3. Unlawful and not pursued (yet) because the NFL considers it not worthwhile.
  • Great, thanks for the response.. This is what I presumed. When you say it is done with permission of the NFL do you mean that they have publicly said that before? Nov 11, 2015 at 19:38
  • No, the permission between the NFL and the media outlet may be entirely private.
    – Dale M
    Nov 11, 2015 at 19:40
  • Oh gotcha, I thought you meant in general, not in certain cases. Thanks for the help! Nov 11, 2015 at 20:35

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