Keeping it on the up-and-up

True or false?

  1. If I use it just once, I don’t have to worry about copyright law.
  2. If I quote a poem in a sermon, I have to remove the audio from the online video posting.
  3. Pulling songs for a children’s songbook has nothing to do with copyright regulations.
  4. Forwarding an email to our congregation’s network is fair game.

Episcopal colleagues recently pointed to “Copyright Guidelines for Churches,” a readable, six-page resource from LeaderResources.* While emphasizing that it is not legal advice, the tool is a good primer of copyright considerations related to printed materials, music, multi-media and online materials.

“The goal of these guidelines is neither to scare you nor give legal advice that guarantees compliance – not even an intellectual rights lawyer can do that!” reads the document (pg. 2). “The best we can do is avoid clearly illegal practices and be respectful without becoming totally paranoid.”

After reading, try that quiz again…

* LeaderResources offers a large collection of instantly downloadable Christian Formation Resources grounded in the Episcopal Church but serving all denominations and people of faith.

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