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Q&A: Super Bowl rings not all the same

Super Bowl rings vary

An NFL team is a huge organization with several hundred employees. How many Super Bowl rings are given to the winning team? Who makes them, and what do they cost?

After the Tampa Bay Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, 48-21 over Oakland in San Diego, every full-time employee of the organization got a ring created by Tiffany & Co.

Of course, there were differences between what the players and everyone else received.

The players' rings are 14-karat yellow gold with 54 diamonds. They have a depiction of the Lombardi Trophy against the outline of a football. On one side is the player's name in a banner above a flag with the team logo flying from the image of the pirate ship in Raymond James Stadium. The other side has details of the game and Super Bowl and NFL logos.

Each cost an estimated $16,000, with the NFL ponying up $5,000 of that, for up to 150 rings.

Employees got a similar ring, minus the diamonds.

Players, coaches, football operations staff and other top-level employees from last year's champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, got a ring that weighed 3.7 ounces and included 63 diamonds totaling 3.61 carats. The rings were cast in 14-karat yellow gold with black antique backgrounds. They were made by Jostens.

No copyright on anthem

Does any individual own the copyright to The Star-Spangled Banner? If so, do you have any idea how much they would earn each year in royalties?

No one owns the copyright to The Star-Spangled Banner, so no songwriting royalties are being collected by anyone at the moment.

The song was copyrighted in 1861 in New York and any piece of music with a copyright date of 1922 or earlier is in the public domain, which means anyone can use it for free.

The tune was arranged by George Warren with words written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, set to the music of To Anacreon in Heaven, according to sheet music obtained by Haven Sound Inc., which runs the site PDInfo.com.

Any song published after January 1972 is protected by copyright through 2067, according to Haven Sound president Lynn Nagrani. Songs written before 1972 are subject to a mishmash of state laws.

However, performers who sing The Star-Spangled Banner own their own sound recording. That's why Jennifer Hudson can sell her version, which she belted out at the 2009 Super Bowl, on iTunes, and she doesn't have to pay Key's heirs any royalties.

Performers can also rearrange public domain songs and copyright their own versions, like Peter, Paul & Mary did with the public domain song Michael Row the Boat Ashore.

Q&A: Super Bowl rings not all the same 02/07/10 [Last modified: Sunday, February 7, 2010 3:30am]
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