Copyright, Intellectual Property and the Church

I have been following conversations of late regarding the proper use of other people’s material in the church.  Can you videotape your choir singing an anthem and put it up on YouTube?  Can you print out the hymns in your Sunday bulletin?  What about music on your website?

Here are two links that I believe every church should take a look at when trying to find answers to these questions.  One is Christian Copyright Solutions, a site that deals with music licensing.  The other is Copyright Guidelines for Churches which is a document published by  You can also find this document and other information on this subject through the Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices site.  All of these are great resources.  So before you print that picture you downloaded from the Internet in your newsletter, do your homework and check out these resources.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure….