Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Church Super Bowl Party Rules for 2010

January 20, 2010

Church Relevance has a very nice post on the rules for Super Bowl parties hosted by churches this year and a nice clean explanation of basic copyright principles.

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Legally playing CDs at a church service

March 16, 2009

This might be old news to some, but in my research I found a fair amount of anecdotal “its ok” and some mis-information about the legalities of playing CD’s at a church service.  I needed to figure it out and I wanted the hard facts – the law itself.  This is what I’ve found out:

It is indeed legal to play the music from a CD as part of your service without violating the copyright.  It doesn’t come from the fair use provision (US Copyright Law section 107 “Limitations on exclusive rights: fair use” ).  This is a common misconception.  It instead comes from section 110 “Limitations on exclusive rights: exemption of certain performances and displays” paragraph 3.

“(3) performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or of a dramatico-musical work of a religious nature, or display of a work, in the course of services at a place of worship or other religious assembly;”

So, it is fine to to play the CD as part of the service.  Now, this doesn’t include projecting lyrics or printing guitar tabs or choir parts, etc.; that’s all under CCLI.  This also doesn’t cover recording the audio as part of an audio or video recording – that’s a reproduction issue and paragraph 3 provides an exception for performance, not reproduction.  Also, there probably is some question about if you want to play a CD as background at a church potluck.  I suspect that since such a performance is not during the “course of services” that it would not be legal.  But, that is outside of my initial search parameters for playing music during a church service proper.

Here are my key sources:

I hope this is helpful.

Copyright’s “fair use” within the church

February 16, 2009

Church Marketing Sucks has Richard Byrd as a guest blogger writing about fair use rules for copyright as it applies to churches.  So far the first of three posts is up and I like how its being considered.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the posts.  This is an area I think we all need to become better versed in and nicely complements my earlier post on copyright law and how it applies to churches.

Maybe we can start agreeing that doing something for a church doesn’t justify breaking the law.

Copyright law and how it applies to churches

January 29, 2009

I’m afraid that many are not going to want to hear what is in the post “Copyright Law…Answers from an expert” over at North Point Music.  It is a interview of a copyright attorney lead by a pastor.  It has good, clear information about what the current law is regarding many practices we take for granted within the church.  This is a must “listen” (its an audio post) for anyone involved with technology in church ministries.

Summary: if you have not paid for a license to do what you’re doing then you probably should not be doing it. There are some exceptions, but not many.