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How do you help your leadership understand...?

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  • How do you help your leadership understand...?

    How do you help your leadership understand the value and necessity of obeying copyright laws? I have been in this church 2 1/2 years now and, like every church I served in previously, I had to convince them we needed a CCLI license, and other licenses for showing videos and other things. Every time something comes up like having a church movie night, or playing recorded music for an event, they say things like, "we're not making any money from this, so what's the problem?" Most recently we were talking about showing a Sherwood Pictures film (they don't participate in CVLI, which we have) and when I mentioned needing to purchase the license for $199, our pastor was incredulous, asking, "Really? To show one movie?"

    Any help or advice would be appreciated!

  • #2
    If citing Title 17, recent church fines, or the FBI warnings at the beginning of the movies does not work, try "do not steal."
    "Rock On" (Matt 7:24-25)

    Dave Brown


    • #3
      Originally posted by funkmaster777 View Post
      If citing Title 17, recent church fines, or the FBI warnings at the beginning of the movies does not work, try "do not steal."
      Thanks, Dave... but in my experience this is not enough. I am floored by the number of people (Christians) I encounter all the time who burn CDs for each other, who offer to share their NetFlix account with me, who want to bring their cable box over to the church to show the Superbowl Game, etc... I'm seeking advice on how to kindly yet firmly explain what the guidelines are, without getting into an argument or coming across as the world's biggest party pooper.

      Have any of you encountered this problem, or is it just me? It seems to start with ignorance of the rules, but when informed of the rules, I expected a greater willingness to be compliant, rather than questioning whether I even know what I'm talking about. My pastor could hardly believe that we'd have to pay $200 'just to show one movie' or that songwriters of praise music would want their names displayed below their lyrics on the screen.


      • #4
        Here's a good article I found that covers the music aspect.

        Copyright Performance Myths

        The issue isn't 'making money'- it's using someone else's creation to our advantage without recognizing and honoring it's their creation.

        Maybe explain like this- if the pastor writes a book and 5 million people read it, wouldn't he want to be recognized for it? If other people use his words, his writings in sermons, outreaches, seminars, that other people benefit from his work, would he want someone else taking the credit and making all the money off his creation, thoughts, and, hard work?

        How would he feel if 5000 people bought it and scanned it into a PDF online and 5 million people downloaded it and read it for free? Would he feel cheated? Especially when he sees the difference in royalties between 5000 copies and 5 million copies...

        Then you have the publishers, distributors, and other links in the chain...

        On a philosophical level it's the perfect example of 'practice what you preach'.

        Romans 14:6 has a good way to look at it-

        "The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God."

        When we are following the laws and customs, we honor those who created what we are using to benefit ourselves and doing it to honor God.

        Romans 13 is another great reference " Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."

        "6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."

        Romans 12 also talks about doing the right thing- ..."do what's honorable in sight of all."

        Proverbs 21:3 "To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice."

        Titus 2 7-8 "7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us."

        This is a big one. The main reason to do it right is to maintain integrity. How would he feel if the church got a fine because they got caught and Bubba's Bar & Grille, who buys their license to play Kid Rock and Nickelback on their stereo, looks wiser than the church? How stupid would we look?

        Hopefully that helps... if the Word doesn't convince the pastor, I would be hard pressed to know what would...
        If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.