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Copyright Church Poll Results

December 14, 2010 by
Copyright Church Poll Results

Sometimes you just need a little break from all that caroling and Honeybaked Ham and Christmas joy, so we decided to focus on everyone’s favorite Grinch this week: copyright issues. We asked in last week’s poll if your church has ever found yourself on either side of a copyright issue. And here are your responses:

The biggest chunk of you, 58%, are thanking Jesus, Santa Claus and anyone else you can find¬†because you ought to have been busted for violating copyrights, but you haven’t been. But hey, that’s what New Year’s Resolutions are for, right? 2011 could be the year you put copyright risks behind you.

Another 36% of folks who responded are doing a great job keeping a clear copyright conscience, and you aren’t expecting any cease-and-desist letters in your stocking in a couple of weeks.

After that, there are just a handful of stragglers. 3% of you have had charges brought against you before, and another 3% of you think it all belongs to God, so it’s no big deal if you borrow it. We hope both of you are up for changing your ways in the coming year.

This week, we have a simple question: Which marketing direction does your church lean towards? The answers are easy and simple, so head to our home page and let your voice be heard.

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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6 Responses to “Copyright Church Poll Results”

  • Michael Kern
    December 14, 2010

    We’ve had a lot of churches “borrow” our work. Sometimes we get a call from an apologetic pastor saying someone at their church “captured it” from the web, and they are calling to compensate us. Other times they ask for a discount since we “didn’t have to do any work.” I love the church and will continue serving through design, but just as pastors deserve to be paid for what they do, the men and women who create works of communication need to earn a living as well.


  • Ben Clapton
    December 14, 2010

    I’m currently looking into writing a post on my blog about copyright, particularly about copyright of the bible. With the NIV, you’re allowed to use 500 verses without seeking permission. The question is, what constitutes the whole text in terms of a website? Is it a single post, or is it the whole site? If a site decides to post a daily devotional, with on average 5 verses a day, within 100 days (a bit over 3 months) that blog is then breeching copyright if they consider the whole website as the complete text.

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen no definitive answer on this front yet. Copyright is a real issue, and those who have done the work deserve to be credited and compensated for their work.


  • Keaton
    December 14, 2010

    As a designer I’m blown away that any church would try to pass of the “it all belongs to God” deal. That is stealing, hire a freelance designer from the local college and your collateral will be twice as affective and totally legal.


  • John Partridge
    December 15, 2010

    This is such an important issue that our Annual Conference (which represents all United Methodist churches in East Ohio) requires that all of our local churches have a music copyright license and negotiated a group rate for us at a substantial savings. Last year, we found that so many of us were using video clips in worship and for other purposes that we added a video copyright license to that requirement (and again got a great group rate).


  • Michael Kern
    December 17, 2010

    Since responding earlier, I’ve had two pastors in two days ask, “Besides it being dishonest, what’s to keep me from using your work without paying for it?” When everything was analog you knew when you were stealing – it actually took some effort. With digital files there are so many images, songs, and clips on the Internet that swiping them is incredibly simple. My guess is that the pastors John Partridge works with may have used the video clips without being fully aware of the copyright issues. The lines seem to be blurred, and in most people’s minds I don’t think it’s black and white any longer.


  • Chris Lydle
    July 12, 2011

    Will there be an updated poll anytime soon?



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