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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Sermon Compilations: Copyright infrigement

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Joined: 2006/10/10
Posts: 57
Oeiras, Portugal

 Sermon Compilations: Copyright infrigement

Hello everyone,

Listen, I don't want to sound like a fanatic or a legalistic pharisee, and I really like the audio compilations (like revival hymn, and others). But the thing is, the songs in the background are copyrighted and they need permission and, I think that, in certain cases, royalties have to be paid to the author in order for the work to be included in the compilation.

But there is a legislation in the U.S. called "Fair Use" that, in certain cases, allows for the work to be used without permission.

[url=]Here it is[/url]

Now, shouldn't we, as christians, obey the law?

If these comps infringe copyright, should we have them here? Because, there are plenty of freeware (christian and instrumental) songs that can be used in comps (e.g., Christ Our Life), so why should we use the copyrighted ones? And if we want to use the copyrighted ones, why not get permission? (I'm guessing permission wasn't asked for in these compilations)

(Note: I don't think christian songs should be copyrighted. I wish they all were free, but the fact is: they aren't, and we still have to obey the law)

There is an online test of "fair use". I did it and I don't think most compilations would pass on it because they use the entire songs in it.

[url=]Fair use test[/url]

All I'm saying is that we should verify whether or not we're doing everything right.

Let's debate this. In love.

João Tiago

 2007/8/15 10:54Profile

Joined: 2006/10/10
Posts: 57
Oeiras, Portugal

 Re: Sermon Compilations: Copyright infrigement

Doesn't anybody care about this? I think this is important. :-(

João Tiago

 2007/8/15 19:16Profile

Joined: 2005/6/17
Posts: 285


i sure people care about this, and i know it is important , so let the Holy Spirit do it's work in us. thanks for bring up this topic, Christian's should be beyond reproach..
love andy


 2007/8/15 19:27Profile

Joined: 2007/6/25
Posts: 764



blinx wrote:
Doesn't anybody care about this? I think this is important. :-(

Its not that people don't care, its that they probably don't understand it. There are only a few ministries that I know have that enourage you to make copies of ther material. If we want to be legalistic about it, we need to shut down SI and countless others. I am sure they are among others that fall under the proper guidelines. If we want to legislate this to the letter of the law, we should not copy pages from a book, lets not burn that new CD we got and give a copy to are friend. Not justifying one thing over another, but let the chips fall where they may and if it a concern for you and others, then don't listen to it and don't feel that you have to police the world.

I think there are more prudent subjects that need to be delt with in stages.


 2007/8/15 22:32Profile

Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Sermon Compilations: Copyright infrigement

Before I was saved I burned every music and software CD and DVD I came into contact with. So did my friends. We all knew it was illegal. Most everyone has seen or remembers the warnings on VCR and DVD movies. I believe most people are aware this is illegal.

I believe our Christian witness is damaged when we engage in burning more than a backup coping and distribution of them.

This is not legalism…it’s obedience to the Word.

As for the rights of use for background music I’m not sure many people know the law concerning it, I certainly don’t.


 2007/8/15 23:42Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


I could be wrong, but, I believe using sniplets of things are ok if they are for "educational purposes." Such is my understanding of the law, but, I could be wrong.

Jimmy H

 2007/8/15 23:56Profile

Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA


Reformer, from your post- I'm not sure you understand....
Sermonindex legally gets all their sermons (that's what their legal document says to my knowledge, I admit I read it very quickly). When people encourage you to make copies of their stuff... that is legal (because you have permission). This person hasn't attacked that at all.
We are to be obedient to the law. I am an open source proponent (that means I don't think software should be copywrited) and I'm all for freeing up the e-books. But I don't rebel against the law, I just support changes or prevent bad changes to it.
I'm not sure if they didn't get permission to make the compilations. I'd definitely like if someone would get on here that knows and clears it up.
But tjservant might be right also...
Boy do I wish that class in Intellectual Property Rights and Copyright had opened up at my college!


 2007/8/16 1:13Profile

Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


I'm pretty sure the original poster wasn't speaking about the sermons on SI, but about the compilations set to music.

When the compilations use entire songs for evangelistic purposes, I am hard-pressed to believe that the people who created these secular movie scores *cough - revival hymn, last of the Mahicans - cough* appreciate their work being used to propagate someone else's theology.

Love your neighbor as yourself?

I had Keith Green's songs on my site in a video format from youtube, set to images... I was convicted enough to pull them down until his record company gives the green light... even if Keith would have given them for free.

 2007/8/16 1:49Profile


A few quick points

1) Copyright law allows for secondary works to be created using portions of other original and copyright works without the original owners permission. This can be found in the fair use section of US copyright law as stated. The amount of the original work that can be used is discretionary and there is no set amount. The original owner could sue over the amount of content if they feel it is excessive and goes beyond the exceptions outlined in the fair use act though.

2) Any article I write, Christian music I produce or sermon I preach is property of God. If a brother wants to use it in a compilation that is freely distributed to encourage or instruct the saints that is their right under heaven, even if mans law says otherwise.

If a chrsitian artist were to contact me because I used "to much" of "their" music in "my" comp and wanted a "royalty" or for me to take it out, I would respect their wishes and take it out and count them as greedy according to 1 Corinthians 5 and hand them over to satan. I would expect you to do the same to me.

3) I use pieces of instrumental and techno music from the "secular" field in comps. I only use what is freely downloaded for free distribution on the internet. I have no dilema with this, but I will not use a piece of copyright music from the secular field. I did in the past and was extremely convicted over it.

In Christ - Jim

 2007/8/16 9:06

Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re: Sermon Compilations: Copyright infrigement

What a super good thread.
I am in 100% agreement with blinx.

(Also, most people don't realize that the same thing applies for YouTube videos. If a video is showing tv shows or clips of movies or has copyrighted background music, it is illegal.)

[b]I for one think the revival hymn should be taken down or permission granted to use the song.[/b]

1 Timothy 3:7
He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/8/16 9:24Profile

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