Copyright Licensing




Check to see if your church is using copyrights legally with the Copyright Compliance Report Card

Why should I be concerned about copyright issues?

Federal Copyright Law prohibits the unauthorized copying of “original works of authorship” (including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works), and penalties for copyright violations can be up to $150,000 per infringement. Ethically, owners of copyrighted material are entitled to the fruits of their labors, hence copyright protection for original works is fair and right.

Why does my church need a license?

Churches often face copyright infringement issues in two vital areas:
  1. copying music without permission, and
  2. showing videos/movies without authorization.

We only project songs. Do we need a license?

In most cases, yes. Entering and storing copyrighted song lyrics on a computer without permission of the copyright owner is a reproduction copying activity and is a violation of the Federal Copyright Law.

We don't charge for movie nights. Do we need a license?

The Federal Copyright Act of 1976 stipulates that pre-recorded videos are authorized for personal home use only. Special permission must be granted for any public performance and that includes using copyrighted video in church services and church activities like movie nights.

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