Copyright Guidelines for Churches
Churches often fail to observe copyright laws, or even the basics of courtesy. We have this unfortunate habit of thinking that just because it is "for the church" it is OK if I make a few copies of this or that.
Following copyright laws is important because we are modeling behavior that is right. And it is a justice issue--the creators of those materials deserve to be compensated for their labor, just like the rest of us are compensated for ours. When we use materials without payment, we are literally stealing from writers, artists and musicians. Not something the church should be doing!
LeaderResources has been doing electronic publishing for over a decade so we have invested in teaching churches about how to observe copyright laws and do the right thing while still having the ability to "make copies." We've complied a document, "Copyright Guidelines for Churches" to help church leaders understand how the copyright law applies to us. We aren't lawyers and this isn't a definitive work--but it does provide basic information and guidelines. You can download it for free here. I encourage you to make copies of it (we give you permission to do that!) and share it with your church leaders so they know what they can and can not do.
Text by Linda Grenz, LeaderResources. Read her blog on this topic here.
Do you show movies at your church? You need a license. Please see Church Publishing's Movie Licensing & Permissions resource (below) for information on how to obtain one.